I was given a bag full of scuppernongs today. They are the size of a big grape, contain 3 or 4 small seeds inside, with a sweeter flesh, and a little bit tougher skin than a regular grape. They are green when immature and turn a beautiful brown/bronze color when they are ripe. It is a variety of muscadine; which are perennial vines native to the southern US. I have only ever had them once before and remembered liking them.
I sat at the table snacking on them.
Slowing taking the fruit in my mouth, carefully biting, separating the seeds and spitting them out so I could chew the fruit. Each scuppernong was an experience. It sounds a little silly, but it taught me something.
In many ways our culture has grown so accustomed to easy, quick, and convenient ways of doing things that we have forgotten what it means to savor. When I am popping a seedless grape, it is a mindless act. I don’t even know how many I eat because there was no work involved in consuming it.
It occurred to me that seeds allow me to savor the fruit. I keep it in my mouth longer, take my time chewing it so I don’t crunch into any seeds, and I become involved in the experience of eating. Taking my time also gives me a better barometer of how much I have eaten so I don’t go overboard. I feel this is much like how cracking your own nuts, or eating bone-in meat helps you savor it more.
My passion in life is to live more sustainably and to teach others. It was a revelation to me that even something as simple as eating fruit that contains seeds could be a step in the road to sustainability. Especially when you think about the fact that each seed inside the fruit contains all the genetic information and potential to become a completely new plant. The fruit now serves more than the function of just being a snack.
So, next time you get some fruit that has seeds, take time to savor it, let it sit in your mouth, enjoy the flavors, and thank God for His beautiful gifts.