This time each year, I get a little nostalgic. I have to admit, it doesn’t take me long to yearn again for the wonderful days of July, and I’m not thinking of the 4th of July.
I’m one of the people who take notice of the true significance of July and do my best to celebrate it. July, in case you’ve already forgotten, is set aside as National Ice Cream Month.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and declared the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
The USDA reports that the USA produced some 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and related frozen desserts in 2013. The sales of ice cream and frozen desserts add about $5.4 billion in sales to the economy—don’t ask how much it adds to the waistlines of Americans.
All of this talk about tasting has reminded me of Psalm 34:
“God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness (The Message).”
When you pause to reflect on God and His goodness, remember to thank Him for the many blessings associated with gift of taste ….. you might also praise Him for ice cream too.
You’ve probably heard the story. It’s the one about Adam, Eve, and the tree of knowledge, and it took place in the Garden of Eden. In an act of disobedience, Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, and they were banned from and booted out of the Garden.
The myth of that Eden experience is that Adam and Eve ate an apple, but the Bible doesn’t specifically name what it was that they ate. I disputed the apple assertion earlier this year after I had purchased a tomato. It had such a deep red and luscious appeal that promised a taste bud-tingling-experience. I took it home, sliced it, and added it to a sandwich.
After I took one bite of this fine-looking tomato, I drew a deep theological conclusion. When God cursed the Garden, He must have also cursed a certain variety of tomato. I’ll call it the supermarket variety because they all have one dominant and pervasive feature: They are tasteless. There is no flavor to savor.
The dilemma of tasteless tomatoes is explained in part by author Mark Schatzker in The Dorito Effect. According to Schatzker, for the past 70 years commercial horticulturists have been focused on yield, pest resistance and appearance at the expense of flavor.
While store-bought tomatoes are no longer tasty, manufactured flavor has been added to Doritos and your munchies, so you’ll crave more. Schatzker says: “Synthetic-flavor technology makes bland ingredients attractive without supplying the myriad benefits of the real thing. The twin forces of flavor dilution and fake flavor have short-circuited the biological basis for mutable appetite . . . Our bodies learn to draw connections between flavors and the physiological responses they signal . . . We can seek out and find what we need, nutritionally, and stop eating once we get it”
Schatzker seems to suggest that it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. I would add that perhaps we shouldn’t try to improve on the design of the Master Designer.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.