Her post prompted me to respond with my own thoughts on what I call "the middle way". I am honoured that Diane suggested I post my response here on my own blog:
For me, “eating to live” is the way my father and uncle ate. They were Holocaust survivors, so just having food to eat was good enough. They seemed quite disinterested in flavour, colour or presentation. These were people who had come close to starving to death. Plain food was enough for them.
As I see it, “living to eat” is probably what you describe: an obsession with eating. Interestingly enough, people who binge probably don’t take much more interest in flavour, colour and presentation than my father and uncle did. They just want as much as they can get as fast as they can eat it.
I really strive for the middle way: Food is necessary, but it is also a pleasure to be savoured. It’s hard to eat junk food when you slow down your eating. The chemical back-taste comes through loud and clear and the crap just doesn’t taste as good as you thought when you were stuffing it in.
The European approach to food--eating long, leisurely meals and eating small portions of a variety of delicious things--is much healthier, both physically and psychologically. I realize that in our world, this style of eating can be hard to do. It doesn’t mean, though, that I won’t try!I see food like interior design. Yes, I could live with a mattress on the floor and boxes to store my books in. Or I could live like a hoarder and fill every free space with my things. I prefer a fairly neat, harmonious environment that is comfortable and colourful. Not always easy to achieve but worth the effort.