In Taste and See (Zondervan, Jan.), Bible teacher Feinberg provides a firsthand exploration of foods found in Scripture.
What led you to explore the foods of the Bible?
I have always been someone who is not content just to read words on a page. The second you start to look for examples of food in the Bible, you see that it is everywhere, popping and sizzling on every page. I began to wonder, what if I sought out people who plant, process, and produce these foods, and who are passionate about it? I wanted to get to know these foods on a granular level and ask the people who produce them: how do you read these Bible passages in light of what you do every day?
What do you think is missing today in how most Americans experience food?
I think part of the emergence of the slow food movement and the popularity of cooking shows traces our longing for nourishment on a deeper level. The fast pace of our society creates a degree of toxicity and displacement. We become separated from the Earth and each other. We don’t even know where our food is coming from. Part of the answer to that is to be more intentional and attentive to both our food and our time of gathering at the table.
Did the travels described in this book change the way you prepare and experience food?
Yes. One of my biggest discoveries was how disconnected I had become from food and from others. What surprised me is how easy it is to reconnect. This can be as simple as being intentional about going to a farmer’s market and not just buying food but talking with the person who grew it. I have also become more intentional about the questions I ask others. It’s amazing how a simple question over a meal can open hearts. We are longing to be known, loved, accepted. Gathering at the table creates space for that to happen.
As a Christian, did you personally learn anything about God from writing the book?
I learned God is the ultimate foodie! A foodie is simply anyone who takes a particular interest in food. Genesis is laid out like a Zagat-rated buffet, and God keeps using food throughout Scripture as means of redemption. He is feeding manna, he is speaking to Gideon through a dream about bread, he is multiplying the widow’s oil. In the New Testament, God then reveals himself to us as food—Jesus, the bread of life. He is the lamb. And he invites us all to partake. The Bible is the biggest, best banquet feast of all time.