This book provides an excellent overview of the spiritual significance of food as it is observed in the world's wisdom traditions. Deborah Kesten writes about Jewish dietary laws, the Christian ideal of fellowship around the Eucharist table, the African-American idea of spicing soul food with love, the Indian emphasis in yogic nutrition or respect for the life-giving spirit in food, the Muslim practice of devout dining recognizing food as Allah's bounty, the Buddhist way of mindful preparation and eating of meals, the Chinese use of food to communicate with the gods, and the Japanese tea ceremony which satisfies physical and spiritual thirst. She also explores the value of fasting during a Native American vision quest and feasting at a Hindu wedding
Other chapters look at the "starving spirit" revealed through eating disorders, the effects of food on the emotions, and research on spiritually imbued foods. Throughout, Kesten uses portraits of people from different traditions and descriptions of rituals and everyday activities to show us how to add "sacred ingredients" to the food we eat. As Thomas Moore puts it, there are ways of "lacing food with sacred imagination." This is a wonderful resource for practitioners of everyday spirituality.