Monk Pig Swallows the Ginseng Fruit

19 Oct

In the Chinese myth of the Monkey King, there is another type of fruit other than the Immortal Peaches called the Ginseng Fruit. The literally baby-like fruit supposedly gives its consumer the gift of eternal youth. While at the Wu Zhang Temple where they discovered the Ginseng tree, the Monkey King and hog conspire to steal the fruit, since only one fruit is produced from the tree every many thousands of years. In the end, the greedy hog takes the fruit and swallows it in one go. He does acquire eternal youth, but, because he swallowed the Ginseng fruit so quickly, nobody in the myth will ever know the taste of such a fruit in their lifetime.

I believe this is, sadly, quite representative of modern-day eating. People today want to get so much out of their food,such as taste, nutrition, and freshness, yet, people are eating so quickly that they sometimes cannot recall the flavor or texture of the food even one minute after consumption. People are demanding much out of their food while, at the same time, demanding that it be eaten in the shortest time possible. Such is the creation of “fast food”, its popular demand, and the growth of the fast food industry. When people eat fast food, for the most part, they will eat it because it is convenient, not because they are searching for a particular place. (Think: How many times have you settled for whatever fast food chain was in the nearby surrounding area, rather than look for a particular, preferred fast food restaurant to eat at?) If people today were faced with the mysterious Ginseng fruit of eternal youth, I am quite sure that, even then, most people would act like the hog and eat the fruit as quickly as possible to get to the results, forgoing the taste and flavor altogether. Growing up with this myth, I have learned to appreciate my food more.

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