How can a food lover and lifelong overeater learn to be satisfied?
That is the question Dayna Macy asks in her memoir Ravenous. Like many of us, Macy has had a complicated relationship with food all her life. Rather than head straight for the diet manuals, she chooses to change her relationship with food from the inside out by embarking on a year-long journey—from her childhood home in upstate New York and back up the California coast—to uncover the origins of her food obsessions.
To understand why she craves certain foods and not others, Macy travels across the country, meeting the people who know the finer points of her passions—the olive farmer, the sausage maker, the chocolatier, the artisanal cheese maker. She deepens her understanding of what food means to her by learning where it comes from and paying close attention to the effects it has on her—both physical and emotional. Along the way, she forages for wild plants, tours a certified humane slaughterhouse, learns to practice mindfulness with a Zen chef, revisits her beloved Slim-Jim, and learns to listen to her body through yoga.
Recounting memories from her youth, Macy looks at the nostalgia deeply embedded in food and the powerful forces of family and tradition that shape our diets. Delving deeper into the spiritual underpinnings of eating, she examines what it means to be satisfied — and forges her own path to balance and freedom.