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Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food
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Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Food is the source of endless angst and anxiety. We struggle with obesity and eating disorders. Reports of agricultural horror stories give us worries about whether our food is healthy, nutritious or justly produced. It's hard to know if our food is really good for us or for society. Our relationship with food is complicated to say the least. But God intended for us to del ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by IVP Books (first published November 29th 2012)
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Each paragraph of this book longs to be a chapter; each chapter its own book. There is, of course, a place for the book that gives a sweeping overview of a broad area of inquiry, but the drawback of such texts is that by necessity arguments sometimes must be simply asserted rather than made. It is left to the reader to do additional research to determine whether she agrees, or else accept or reject the author's assertions based on her preconceived opinions more than by the evidence here offered. ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
2 out of 5 Stars. I would not recommend this book.
I picked it up, thinking it was a Biblical view of eating and a Biblical way of attacking my eating disorder, but it was not. Eat with Joy is less about eating disorders and more about the world's food problems.
"How can we 'eat with joy' when so much suffering and injustice exists, seemingly at every level of modern food production? The first thing to do is open our ears, eyes, and hearts to the stories of people who are poor." pg. 60
I reviewed
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rachel Marie Stone’s book is a feast for those who care about how society views food and food ethics. I'm a guy who tends to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants and somehow never manages to gain weight so you might be wondering why I decided to read this book. After all, my story is very different from Stone’s who, in the introduction, describes her own conflicted feelings with food as she was growing up. Generally speaking, I have not felt any anxiety about eating food throughout my life a ...more
Ashley Pike
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book! It gave me a whole new perspective on food, whether that be enjoying it with other people or making it. So many different areas she covers on food. I honestly wasn't expecting it to be as impactful as it was on me! Definitely recommend. ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ever since I first tripped over this book with its beautiful name promising at such a great blessing and the beauty of the words made from actual food I was charmed into wanting to dive into its pages. But at the time I was truly unable to afford to get the book while no one whether used bookstore, digital book carriers or even libraries seemed to carry the book thus having me to constantly put it on hold time and time over again along with two other cookbooks that I have been wanting to get my ...more
Guilherme Cordeiro
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a joyful work. It would be an error to read this work as an extended theological treatise or a philosophical defense of certain topics related to food (it’s rather strange to expect that when each chapter finishes with thanksgiving prayers and recipes). However, Rachel Marie Stone offers a good introduction to a vast topic that is very readable, exciting and covers a wide amount of topics, from dieting fads to animal justice. It’s rather interesting to see a popular work engaging with sl ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. This book wasn’t what I expected... after listening to an interview with the author on a podcast, I really expected it to be a biblical approach to intuitive eating. It had tiny bits of that scattered through, but it had a disproportionate amount of words spent on attacking the food industry. She also seemed to be unrealistic about everyone’s ability to garden, eat locally, and avoid fast food and convenience foods (this is said as someone who cooks most meals from scratch and grows a ...more
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
The first chapter was amazing and really struck home for me. However, as a whole, the book was only ok. It didn't dramatically change my life and I even disagree a little bit with some of her points- but these disagreements are minor and related to application of biblical statements rather than a disagreement over her reading of Scripture. Actually, I've been thinking a lot about our relationship to food as Christians and I have come to slightly different conclusions than this writer. Conclusion ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I have mixed thoughts on this book. Some of the chapters I really liked and others I found too preachy and somewhat annoying. She really bashes McDonald's and although I know they aren't perfect in the food industry, they seem to take the most criticism because they are the largest. I think she is also somewhat unrealistic in all of us being able to buy local food, grow our own food and go with the seasons on food. ...more
Linda Cirillo
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This examination of our relationship to food is a worthy endeavor. Americans, most especially, would do well do stop and think about our abundance and how it's made, how we treat it, and how we think about it. While I don't agree with all of the author's conclusions, I'm glad she gave me a way to think about the food that I eat and serve. Nice recipes are included. ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity, food
A comprehensive reflection on food from a biblical and sociological perspective
Jo Ann
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
Meant for an American audience and tried to do too much without really making its argument well. I felt guilty instead of joyful at the end of most chapters.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for discussion groups. Lots of food related topics addressed. Also appreciate the author sharing blessings for meals and also some delicious recipes.
A few years ago, when I first saw the word "foodie," I was amazed that anyone would admit to loving to eat. It seemed vaguely sinful. But as I've read other books about how communal eating meets deep human needs, I've been forced to rethink that.

Food writer Michael Pollan states that even though our nation is the most health-obsessed in the world, we are the least healthy. Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food grabbed my attention because it attempts to find the middle ground between glutt
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, food
Rachel Marie Stone contends that we are often conflicted about one of the most basic of human activities--eating! We all get hungry, we all want to eat good, tasty food, yet we complain about weight, calories, the kinds of things in our diet. Following authors like Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver, she adds a Christian perspective on food as a gift from God to be enjoyed in its appropriate place in our lives. What I love about this is that Stone emphasizes things like the healing power of s ...more
Heather Harding
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has some great thoughts about enjoying food as we seek to be faithful in caring for creation. She is not a vegetarian, but she encourages practices that are respectful of the animals used for food. "Highly processed foods - like fast food - are destructive to people's health, cruel to animals and damaging to God's creation...A meal from McDonald's can't speak clearly of God's love and provision for creatures because of the many, many injustices involved at every stage of production. In ...more
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
A rewarding read, well-researched and documented, useful for anyone wishing to explore humanity's relationship with food from a distinctly Christian perspective. Stone delves into areas such as health and nutrition, social justice, sustainability, food preparation, communal eating, celebration, and stewardship, all based on the premise that food is a gift from God, and that the Giver intends for us to delight in it. Each chapter ends with mealtime prayers, recipes, and ideas for action. A group ...more
Joy Matteson
I'm so glad more Christian writers are writing about food as a gift of God, not as something to control or manage. Rachel Marie Stone, one of the writers for Christianity Today, has written an amazing little book about what it means to love God through what we eat. What a concept! When we enjoy the food He has given us, we are choosing to be grateful instead of unsatisfied. I'm really tired of seeing books like "the Daniel Diet" or other so-called Christian diet books that simply reinforce the i ...more
Mary Beene
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've already passed this book on to others - I really enjoyed it. At first I couldn't read it without thinking how to use it as a book for my congregation to use as a Bible study (I'm a pastor) and I worried about each line -- what would they think about this claim or that claim. But when I set all that aside and just read it for my own enjoyment and to provoke my own thoughts, I realized that I don't have to worry about what others think -- it's about making choices according to my own values - ...more
Carl Jenkins
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a really challenging book about how we approach food and eating. Stone does a fantastic job at making you stop and think about your food, where does it come from, how can heal relationships, how can it help you better understand God?

There are a lot of challenges in the book that I just have a hard time thinking I could actually do. It's probably more than an excuse than anything, but these are important things as Stone points out that they aren't done just to have a healthier life, but
Leigh Kramer
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Great examination of the relationship between faith and food. Each chapter could probably be expanded in to a book of its own. As such, I often wished Stone could have delved more in-depth in to the issues she presented. While I appreciated hearing more of her story, I also wish she had included stories of people with healthy relationships to food, as I couldn't always relate to her personal example or the stories she included. (I'm no paragon of virtue, nor is my family a pillar of moral excell ...more
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary, religion
I opened to the first page of Eat with Joy with high hopes. Over the past seven years, my weight has ricocheted from one extreme to another, having now settled somewhere around "normal." Yet food continues to be a source of anxiety for me; peace is not something that I associate with my eating habits.

Eat with Joy by Rachel Marie Stone touches on several points about healthy, responsible, and joyful eating as intended by God, but it is not an all-encompassing book. It was a good place for me to s
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wanted to love this book. The writing was superb, the premise was thought provoking, and there were great nuggets to ponder. Overall, it was a good read. However, I felt in that her application of the belief that God has created food for our enjoyment rather than simply nourishment, personal conviction was presented as God's will for everyone. There can be a fine line between the two, but in this instance specifically, eating locally and cooking from scratch felt to me like personal interpreta ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
Eat With Joy attempts to broaden our national focus from food as a means of health to one that sees food as a blessing from God. When we limit food to what is nutritionally best, we can lose other benefits from eating, especially our joy.

The difficulty Rachel Marie Stone faced in writing this book is that of balancing joy with justice. Much of our contemporary food culture has injustices wrapped up in it, injustice to fellow humans and to animals. Stone ties our joy with treating others well but
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Things I particularly appreciated about this book:

[] The prayers for meals at the end of each chapter.
[] The recipes at the end of each chapter.
[] A fascinating chapter on eating disorders and "how eating together heals." She mentions a therapy for eating disorders (essentially, the family sitting together and eating in an extremely intentional and loving environment) that I'd never heard of, and that is apparently very effective.
[] Her encouragement to strive for high ideals (like eating locall
Anastasia Tuckness
Nicely done--the book reads somewhat like a collection of essays on food, life, and doing it all as a Christian. I appreciate Stone's perspective a lot--she has a nice balance of carefulness without rigid uptightness about food, which is difficult to find.

My favorite section compares power bars to pea soup. The former is eaten quickly, by oneself, completely separated from the food's origin. The second requires time to make and eat, and encourages eating with people and a closer connection with
Sarah K
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, cookbooks
a very quick read, but one that redefines food and the food culture in the west for Christians. what was most compelling to me was the author's encouragement for believers to redeem food- to share with others, not to better themselves (i.e. by eating organic and local and all that jazz... even though there certainly are benefits to that). i liked the idea of simplifying meals as a sign of solidarity with others globally in food crisis too. ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Stone brings a valuable perspective to the theology of food and the Christian practices surrounding food. I was disappointed that she did not reference any of the three books written by L. Shannon Jung on the topic. The prayers and recipes included in the volume are a helpful addition.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book that will change the way you look at eating. The author reminds us that we "say grace" because it is only through God's grace that we even have anything to eat. Eating should be joyful and communal and something that points us to God, not keeping track of calories and restrictions. ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book addresses how eating is and can be redemptive, community-building and sustainable. It is sprinkled with anecdotes, recipes, prayers and segues into other excellent faith-filled writing about food.
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InterVarsity Pres...: My review of Eat with Joy 1 12 Aug 24, 2013 01:10PM  

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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“Like infants with their mothers, we're helpless before the God who feeds us, cares for us and embraces us with even greater devotion than that of a loving mother with nursing babies." Does a nursing babe have to "be good" to earn that love-to deserve that tender, intimate feeding? No. He has only to open his mouth and be fed.
And so with us.
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