Eating is a necessity and a part of our basic goals of life. Food, clothing and shelter are required for a human being to live and thrive. As human civilizations grew and spread through the world, they were exposed to different climatic environments and thus came up the different styles of eating and living. Some civilizations would eat food hot, some would prefer cold eating and others would blend with spices while some would prefer bland.
Ethiopian food
By Richard from kansas city, united states (grab it and then eat it) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Accordingly the eating habits developed. When the food was soft and lushly, it was easier to eat by hands. While when the food was not tender, and would require support to eat, it was being eaten by using instruments which could help to hold, cut and pull the food morsel.
Eating by hand had its own good things as well. As civilizations grew and changed to empires and then to modern day countries, rather into modern “civilizations”, food eating habits were also prominent in different cultures.

Here are some of the key benefits of eating food by hand:

  1. Your hands can sense the temperature of the food. It thus helps you understand whether it would the right time to eat the morsel.
  2. Your hands can also feel the texture of the food. Through the millions of nerve endings carrying the texture and temperature sense, you actually start to enjoy the food even before you have the morsel in your mouth.
  3. Through your hands you can feel the whether the food is cooked correctly or not. This comes through years of experience of eating food with your hands. Your eyes along with your hands become your first friends in understanding whether you should eat the food or not.
  4. Another interesting benefit is to squeeze out any excess oil, if present on the food. Thus it gives you some benefit on reduce cholesterol.
  5. Here is one additional benefit which is suitable to multi-tasking people of today. Because you are eating food with your hands, you cannot multi-task. You cannot type on the computer and you cannot use your cell phone – surely you do not want to put oil and other food and long lasting smell on your devices!
  6. When it comes to eating meat and fish with your hands, it is always easier to use your hands to separate the bones and eat the flesh. With the number of small bones and muscles that one has in the hands, it is able to twist and turn in multiple directions and can loosen and strengthen the muscle capacity as required. Even a modern day sophisticated robot cannot do this! Thus when your hands are such an important machine in itself, why to reduce the strength by using a fork or knife, when the same effect can be gained by hands and teeth!
  7. Now here is a point of debate. Some people say that cutlery can be washed, cleaned and sterilised by chemicals which cannot be used on hands. So they are cleaner than your hands. But on the other side of the debate, people do say that they can be sure whether their hands are clean or not. And yes, your body immune system is there to take care of the rest.
  8. Eating with hands is yet another form of meditation. Surprised? Did you think that Meditation can only be done in a Yoga room and with breathing? Only to find your mind racing on many different things, leading to a complete – go-away from the meditation? Well, here is your wonderful option. Eat food by hands and meditate!

Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
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