Although, there is no exact evidence for timeline of use of spoon and fork for eating. The predecessor of modern spoon dates back to 1000 B.C. Egypt where it was used for religious purposes. However, researchers believe people employed natural spoon like elements for eating foods to hold liquid. Humans employed sea shells or conveniently shaped stones for eating foods like water and broth. While people learned to improvise according to need through passage of time; our natural evolution designed us to eat with help of hands and fingers.
In the West, people consider the use of spoons and other cutlery equipment as mandatory elements of eating etiquette. However, the eastern (often south Asian), African, and middle-eastern people still employ use of hands for eating food. While, hands are mostly employed for eating fast food in the west, eastern delicacies are still enjoyed with hand. Health conscious people in west consider eating with hand unhygienic but there is a lot of wisdom and science in eating through primitive fashion of our early ancestors.
Here are 10 Significance and Benefits of Eating With Your Hands
1. Five Fingers and The Digestive System
Vedas and other ancient Indian scriptures connect every part of our body with the five natural elements. The hands, especially, fingers are no exception to it; each fingers in our hands represent one element. The thumb, forefinger, mid-finger, ring finger, and pinky represent space, air, fire, water, and earth. The scriptures state touching food with hands evokes these elements such as enqymes within the body and informs stomach and digestive system to prepare for food early.
2. Eating Consciously and Mindfulness
Consciousness play a key importance in eastern teaching. Saints and sages believed eating with hand makes individual conscious towards food. Food is key to life like air and water; spirit gains ability to think only on full stomach. Sages advised the need to connect spiritual mind with energy from food, process ought to start from touching and sensing food. Furthermore, conscious eating leads to mindfulness towards taste, texture and other element of food.
3. Hands are More Hygienic than Spoon
In Indian and African tradition, one has to assume a certain set of hygiene before consumption of food. People must wash their hands and clean it before eating. Eating through spoon looks hygienic but a hand washed before eating is much better than spoon which is stored for a long period of time before use. The spoon stored for a certain period of time can home microbes and other germs which can cause disease. Likewise, one has to wash hand and mouth after completion of eating.
4. Smaller Portions Helps with Digestion
Independent researches claim, eating with hands help people eat smaller portions. The benefits of eating smaller portion is improved digestion. The time consumed to make proportion delays eating food in a quick way aiding quick digestion of small portion eaten earlier.
5. Balancing Blood Sugar Levels
Fast eating often has been found to be key factor in causing imbalance in blood sugar levels of body. A research claims, fast eaters often tend to make use of spoon and fork causing disruptions in blood sugar level. The disruption in blood sugar level is leading cause of diabetes. Thus, one must deploy hands while eating and enjoy food slower.
6. Prevention from Burning our Tongue
All of us must have burned our mouth at least once while eating food. The use of spoon doesn’t allow us to judge temperature of our food and it can lead us to burn our tongue. However, our sensitive skin in our fingertips allows us to determine temperature of food and prepare us to eat food slowly or cool it down preventing burn.
7. Exercise for Fingers and Hand
Movement of body parts often ensures blood flow and exercises our muscles. Most parts of fingers and hands are involved in exercise when hands are used instead of spoon. The use of spoon provides limited range of motion to body part, our body muscles and nerves not activated to full extent. Thus, one is exercising through use of hands for eating.
8. Spoons add Foreign Taste
Spoons and forks are made out of materials like metal, wood or plastic. The use of such cutlery adds tastes of foreign elements other than the original taste of food. However, we can avoid these foreign tastes, if we use clean hands to eat. One can taste food without foreign taste only with use of hands.
9. Experience of Holding the Food
Indian, African, Middle-Eastern, and Asian food often consist more than one delicacy in plate. These foods are enjoyed through act of mixing and eating together. For example, Indian dishes are often enjoyed with Chapati and some thick ingredient like gravies and potato curries. One can only enjoy them together by holding a piece of potato with ripped piece of a Roti (Chapati). This provides a unique experience unavailable with spoon and fork where both dishes have to be taken separately.
10. Reduces Over Eating
The root cause of obesity is overeating, hectic lifestyle of modern world has made people binge eaters. A journal from clinical and psychological research dictates, eating with hands cuts down the rate of binge eating because a person gets cue of stomach capacity. The spoon and other modern cutlery users were unable to get cues and tend to keep on overeating. Thus, one must start eating with hands to become lean.