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Savoring Moderate Consumption

“Thrift isn’t stinginess. It’s a cure for overconsumption.” — Stanley Tucci

We are spiraling headfirst into the consumption holidays. In many ways it’s already begun with Halloween, didn’t it? Purchase one bag of candy more than we really need to, and suddenly the pants are a bit snugger than they were a few weeks ago. Autumn days are days to eat, drink and be merry. It’s a time to celebrate the harvest. Many of us take this a step too far—one “bite-sized” candy bar after another, washed down with a pumpkin spiced latte and the abandonment of all reason.

Watching Stanley Tucci’s magnificent Searching for Italy, the episode that struck me most profoundly was Episode 8: Liguria in which he savors traditional Genoese pesto recipes and walks the barren cliffside olive plantations. This is not a place where you are burdened with such things as too many Thanksgiving pies to choose from, this is a place where you savor the ingredients you can muster up from the land and sea.

There’s no magic in a drive-thru, only convenience. And we may appreciate convenience, but do we savor it? Distracted eating serves our busy lifestyles, but is there any nuance in consumption when it’s lost in the moment of defensive driving or determined scrolling? There can be no savoring when multitasking. When we deliberately focus on the food we suddenly we realize just what we’re shoveling into our mouths. This moment may delight or horrify us.

Savoring is the key to an extraordinary life. If overconsumption and gluttony are the antithesis of savoring, then it stands to reason that to live an exceptional life we ought to be more thrifty in our consumption. To savor life means to slow down and appreciate what the world offers to us in the moment. This is celebratory, but not overindulgent. It is a dance with life, one small and delightful bite at a time.

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