A friend recently told me, "I've finally got my eating issues under control. I realize food is just fuel for my body. It's not meant to be fun." This woman isn't a person of extremes, but she was still on a honeymoon with this philosophy (you know how it is when you discover something new that works, or seems to work), and she wasn't interested in eating for pleasure.
I'd rather be fat -- and since I used to be obese, I get to say that without offending anyone. I'd rather be fat than resign myself to food as an equivalent to gas or oil or coal. I toyed with this idea when I was going through all my lose-the-lard experiments in the past, and frankly, it didn't last long.
Food is fuel--fuel that should be savored...enjoyed...and sometimes exalted. We should bond over it, commune with it, and show our appreciation for it. Of course, modern society has to deal with the overabundance we face. It's hard to appreciate what's on your plate when it's all available 24 hours per day. Drive to the grocery store at 3 a.m. and get a pecan pie. Drive thru and get fries. Pick up the phone and get fried rice and pizza.
We're spoiled. I admit that. But food is more than just fuel. It's pleasure, and luxury, and family, and celebration, and joy, and spirituality, and love. We just need to be careful what we classify under the big "Food" umbrella. Hint: if it comes in a box, there's a good chance it might not qualify.