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The Ritual of Eating is a simple practice. We put food into our mouths, then chew and swallow it. Because of food’s importance, it has been linked with politics, social structures, legal systems, health maintenance, magic and, oh yes, religion.
Our lives still contain vestiges of these earlier practices. Prayer (or “saying grace”) before meals is perhaps the most common. It is popular not only in Christianity but also in many other religions. The urge to give thanks for food prior to eating has its origins in the Pagan sacrifices common in ancient Egypt, Sumer, Greece, Rome, and many other cultures. Portions of the food were burned or placed in offering bowls. The food is now simply blessed.