We modern folk don’t like to be confronted with our mortality. Death has been rather hygienically excised from our lives, at least on the surface—but ultimately, the Grim Reaper always gets his man, or woman. The result of this steadfast denial of our transience is that the end comes as a sudden assault when our expiration date arrives.
Our resistance to impermanence also expresses itself in our relationship to food. We go to great pains to avoid rot and decay. Yet perishability is a sign of living, lively food.
So bring on the spinach! We’re not going to lament the fact that it will wilt by tomorrow. We’re not going to store it in the fridge for “later.” We’re going to throw it in the wok with a little garlic and sauté it right now! Toss a few toasted sesame seeds over it, and mmm… Or tear it into smaller pieces, mix it with your favorite dressing, and taste the crisp freshness in every leaf.
By not putting things off until later, you get to enjoy that delicious spinach now, and nothing can take it away from you. Besides, spinach is healthier and tastes better when it’s so fragile and fresh. That means you’re more likely to make spinach a habit than you would feeding yourself processed foods with distant expiration dates. And if you don’t get a chance to eat the spinach now, give it new life in the chicken coop or on the compost pile, where it will join the cycle of life just as easily as in your wok.