ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional or medicinal needs
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Eating is the ingestion of food to provide for all organisms their nutritional needs, particularly for energy and growth. Animals must eat in order to survive. For humans, eating is an activity of daily living.

Amandines de Provence, poster by Leonetto Cappiello, 1900
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. ~ Miguel de Cervantes


  • The poor man will praise it so hath he good cause,
    That all the year eats neither partridge nor quail,
    But sets up his rest and makes up his feast,
    With a crust of brown bread and a pot of good ale.
    • Old English Song. From "An Antidote Against Melancholy" (1661).
  • Antony, however, according to his custom, returned alone to his own cell, increased his discipline, and sighed daily as he thought of the mansions in Heaven, having his desire fixed on them, and pondering over the shortness of man's life. And he used to eat and sleep, and go about all other bodily necessities with shame when he thought of the spiritual faculties of the soul. So often, when about to eat with any other hermits, recollecting the spiritual food, he begged to be excused, and departed far off from them, deeming it a matter for shame if he should be seen eating by others.
  • This much thou hast taught me: that I should learn to take food as medicine. But during that time when I pass from the pinch of emptiness to the contentment of fullness, it is in that very moment that the snare of appetite lies baited for me.
    • Augustine, Confessions, as translated by A. Outler, Book 10, Chapter 31, p. 197
  • What is sufficient for health is not enough for pleasure. And it is often a matter of doubt whether it is the needful care of the body that still calls for food or whether it is the sensual snare of desire still wanting to be served. In this uncertainty my unhappy soul rejoices, and uses it to prepare an excuse as a defense. It is glad that it is not clear as to what is sufficient for the moderation of health, so that under the pretense of health it may conceal its projects for pleasure.
    • Augustine, Confessions, as translated by A. Outler, Book 10, Chapter 31, p. 197
  • Some men are born to feast, and not to fight;
    Whose sluggish minds, e'en in fair honor's field,
    Still on their dinner turn—
    Let such pot-boiling varlets stay at home,
    And wield a flesh-hook rather than a sword.
    • Joanna Baillie, Count Basil (1798), Act I, scene 1; in A Series of Plays.
  • I sing the sweets I know, the charms I feel,
    My morning incense, and my evening meal,
    The sweets of Hasty-Pudding.
  • Man is a carnivorous production,
    And must have meals, at least one meal a day;
    He cannot live, like woodcocks, upon suction,
    But, like the shark and tiger, must have prey;
    Although his anatomical construction
    Bears vegetables, in a grumbling way,
    Your laboring people think beyond all question,
    Beef, veal, and mutton better for digestion.
  • That famish'd people must be slowly nurst,
    And fed by spoonfuls, else they always burst.
  • All human history attests
    That happiness for man,—the hungry sinner!—
    Since Eve ate apples, much depends on dinner.
  • Todos los duelos con pan son buenos (or son menos).
    • All sorrows are good (or are less) with bread.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Chapter II. 13.
  • Tripas llevan corazon, que no corazon tripas.
    • The stomach carries the heart, and not the heart the stomach.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Chapter II. 47.
  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
  • The true Amphitryon.
  • A cheerful look makes a dish a feast.
  • Gluttony kills more than the sword.
  • Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crowned,
    Where all the ruddy family around
    Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail
    Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale.
  • Hunger also changes the world - when eating can't be a habit, then neither can seeing.
  • A Padmini is used to eating very little, Chitarini consumes twice that quantity, Hastini three times and Sankhini eats an enormous amount of food.
    • Labdhodaya in his Padmini Charitra Choupai. quoted from B.K. Karkra, Rani Padmini, The Heroine of Chittor. (2009) Rupa.
  • Your supper is like the Hidalgo's dinner; very little meat, and a great deal of tablecloth.
  • O hour, of all hours, the most bless'd upon earth,
    The blessèd hour of our dinners!
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part I, Canto II, Stanza 23.
  • We may live without poetry, music and art;
    We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
    We may live without friends; we may live without books;
    But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
    He may live without books,—what is knowledge but grieving?
    He may live without hope,—what is hope but deceiving?
    He may live without love,—what is passion but pining?
    But where is the man that can live without dining?
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part I, Canto II, Stanza 24.
  • They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet
    Quaff immortality and joy.
  • Le véritable Amphitryon
    Est l'Amphitryon où l'on dine.
    • The genuine Amphitryon is the Amphitryon with whom we dine.
    • Molière, Amphitryon (1690), III. 5.
  • One solid dish his week-day meal affords,
    An added pudding solemniz'd the Lord's.
  • "Live like yourself," was soon my lady's word,
    And lo! two puddings smok'd upon the board.
  • The Gods have not ordained hunger to be our death: even to the well-fed man comes death in varied shape,
    The riches of the liberal never waste away, while he who will not give finds none to comfort him,
    The man with food in store who, when the needy comes in miserable case begging for bread to eat,
    Hardens his heart against him, when of old finds not one to comfort him.

    Bounteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food, and the feeble,
    Success attends him in the shout of battle. He makes a friend of him in future troubles,
    No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing.

    Let the rich satisfy the poor implorer, and bend his eye upon a longer pathway,
    Riches come now to one, now to another, and like the wheels of cars are ever rolling,
    The foolish man wins food with fruitless labour: that food – I speak the truth – shall be his ruin,
    He feeds no trusty friend, no man to love him. All guilt is he who eats with no partaker.
  • He who nourishes neither God nor man, he who eats alone, gathers sin.
  • But, first
    Or last, your fine Egyptian cookery
    Shall have the fame. I have heard that Julius Cæsar
    Grew fat with feasting there.
  • I charge thee, invite them all; let in the tide
    Of knaves once more: my cook and I'll provide.
  • Each man to his stool, with that spur as he would to the lip of his mistress; your diet shall be in all places alike. Make not a city feast of it, to let the meat cool ere we can agree upon the first place.
  • Lord, Madame, I have fed like a farmer; I shall grow as fat as a porpoise.
  • They say fingers were made before forks, and hands before knives.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 210-15.
  • When the Sultan Shah-Zaman
    Goes to the city Ispahan,
    Even before he gets so far
    As the place where the clustered palm-trees are,
    At the last of the thirty palace-gates,
    The pet of the harem, Rose-in-Bloom,
    Orders a feast in his favorite room—
    Glittering square of colored ice,
    Sweetened with syrup, tinctured with spice,
    Creams, and cordials, and sugared dates,
    Syrian apples, Othmanee quinces,
    Limes and citrons and apricots,
    And wines that are known to Eastern princes.
  • Acorns were good till bread was found.
    • Francis Bacon, Colours of Good and Evil, 6. Quote from Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), XIV, 181.
  • 'Tis not her coldness, father,
    That chills my labouring breast;
    It's that confounded cucumber
    I've ate and can't digest.
  • Ratons and myse and soche smale dere
    That was his mete that vii. yere.
    • Sir Bevis of Hamptoun.
  • First come, first served.
    • Henry Brinklow, Complaint of Roderyck Mors. Also in Bartholomew's Fair, Act III. 5. (1614).
  • Better halfe a loafe than no bread.
  • A loaf of bread, the Walrus said,
    Is what we chiefly need:
    Pepper and vinegar besides
    Are very good indeed—
    Now if you're ready, Oysters, dear,
    We can begin to feed!
    • Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter. From Alice Through The Looking-Glass.
  • Nemini fidas, nisi cum quo prius multos modios salis absumpseris.
    • Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.
    • Cicero, De Amic, 19, 67. (Quoted).
  • Esse oportet ut vivas, non vivere ut edas.
    • Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.
    • Cicero, Rhetoricorum Ad C. Herennium, IV. 7.
  • Oh, dainty and delicious!
    Food for the gods! Ambrosia for Apicius!
    Worthy to thrill the soul of sea-born Venus,
    Or titillate the palate of Silenus!
  • When we sat by the fleshpots.
    • Exodus, XVI. 3.
  • When I demanded of my friend what viands he preferred,
    He quoth: "A large cold bottle, and a small hot bird!"
  • When mighty roast beef was the Englishman's food
    It ennobled our hearts and enriched our blood—
    Our soldiers were brave and our courtiers were good.
    Oh! the roast beef of England,
    And Old England's roast beef.
    • Henry Fielding, "The Roast Beef of Old England", in Grub Street Opera, Act III, scene 2. Claimed for R. Leveridge.
  • What will not luxury taste? Earth, sea, and air,
    Are daily ransack'd for the bill of fare.
    Blood stuffed in skins is British Christians' food,
    And France robs marshes of the croaking brood.
  • "Here, dearest Eve," he exclaims, "here is food." "Well," answered she, with the germ of a housewife stirring within her, "we have been so busy to-day that a picked-up dinner must serve."
  • Je veux que le dimanche chaque paysan ait sa poule au pot.
  • Such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
    • Hebrews. V. 12.
  • Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age.
    • Hebrews. V. 14.
  • He rolls it under his tongue as a sweet morsel.
  • Here is bread, which strengthens man's heart, and therefore is called the staff of Life.
  • He pares his apple that will cleanly feed.
  • 'Tis not the food, but the content,
    That makes the table's merriment.
  • Out did the meate, out did the frolick wine.
  • God never sendeth mouth but he sendeth meat.
  • Born but to banquet, and to drain the bowl.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book X, line 622. Pope's translation.
  • "Good well-dress'd turtle beats them hollow,—
    It almost makes me wish, I vow,
    To have two stomachs, like a cow!"
    And lo! as with the cud, an inward thrill
    Upheaved his waistcoat and disturb'd his frill,
    His mouth was oozing, and he work'd his jaw—
    "I almost think that I could eat one raw."
  • Millia frumenti tua triverit area centum,
    Non tuus hinc capiet venter plus ac meus.
    • Though your threshing-floor grind a hundred thousand bushels of corn, not for that reason will your stomach hold more than mine.
    • Horace, Satires, I. 1. 45.
  • Jejunus raro stomachus vulgaria temnit.
    • A stomach that is seldom empty despises common food.
    • Horace, Satires, II. 2. 38.
  • The consummate pleasure (in eating) is not in the costly flavour, but in yourself. Do you seek for sauce by sweating?
  • Free livers on a small scale; who are prodigal within the compass of a guinea.
  • The stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.
    • Isaiah, III. 1.
  • Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we shall die.
    • Isaiah, XXII. 13.
  • A feast of fat things.
    • Isaiah, XXV. 6.
  • Think of the man who first tried German sausage.
  • Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
    • John, VI. 12.
  • For I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.
  • For a man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
  • Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will be.
  • Yet shall you have to rectify your palate,
    An olive, capers, or some better salad
    Ushering the mutton; with a short-legged hen,
    If we can get her, full of eggs, and then,
    Limons, and wine for sauce: to these a coney
    Is not to be despaired of for our money;
    And though fowl now be scarce, yet there are clerks,
    The sky not falling, think we may have larks.
  • The master of art or giver of wit,
    Their belly.
  • She brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
    • Judges. V. 25.
  • In solo vivendi causa palato est.
    • In their palate alone is their reason of existence.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), II. 11.
  • Bona summa putes, aliena vivere quadra.
    • To eat at another's table is your ambition's height.
    • Juvenal, Satires (early 2nd century), V. 2.
  • And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon.
  • An handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse.
    • I Kings, XVII. 12.
  • And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail.
    • I Kings, XVII. 16.
  • A woman asked a coachman, "Are you full inside?" Upon which Lamb put his head through the window and said: "I am quite full inside; that last piece of pudding at Mr. Gillman's did the business for me."
    • Charles Lamb, Autobiographical Recollections, by Charles R. Leslie.
  • He hath a fair sepulchre in the grateful stomach of the judicious epicure—and for such a tomb might be content to die.
  • If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner,
    And take to light claret instead of pale ale;
    Look down with an utter contempt upon butter,
    And never touch bread till its toasted—or stale.
  • I am glad that my Adonis hath a sweete tooth in his head.
  • Philo swears that he has never dined at home, and it is so; he does not dine at all, except when invited out.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book V, Epistle 47.
  • Mithriades, by frequently drinking poison, rendered it impossible for any poison to hurt him. You, Cinna, by always dining on next to nothing, have taken due precaution against ever perishing from hunger.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book V, Epistle 76.
  • Annius has some two hundred tables, and servants for every table. Dishes run hither and thither, and plates fly about. Such entertainments as these keep to yourselves, ye pompous; I am ill pleased with a supper that walks.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VII, Epistle 48.
  • You praise, in three hundred verses, Sabellus, the baths of Ponticus, who gives such excellent dinners. You wish to dine, Sabellus, not to bathe.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book IX, Epistle 19.
  • As long as I have fat turtle-doves, a fig for your lettuce, my friend, and you may keep your shellfish to yourself. I have no wish to waste my appetite.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 53.
  • See, how the liver is swollen larger than a fat goose! In amazement you will exclaim: Where could this possibly grow?
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 58.
  • Whether woodcock or partridge, what does it signify, if the taste is the same? But the partridge is dearer, and therefore thought preferable.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 76.
  • However great the dish that holds the turbot, the turbot is still greater than the dish.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 81.
  • I am a shell-fish just come from being saturated with the waters of the Lucrine lake, near Baise; but now I luxuriously thirst for noble pickle.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 82.
  • If my opinion is of any worth, the fieldfare is the greatest delicacy among birds, the hare among quadrupeds.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle 92.
  • Man shall not live by bread alone.
    • Matthew, IV. 4; Deuteronomy, VIII. 3.
  • Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink.
    • Matthew, VI. 25.
  • Tenez bonne table et soignez les femmes.
    • Keep a good table and attend to the ladies.
    • Napoleon I, instructions to Abbé de Pradt.
  • What baron or squire
    Or knight of the shire
    Lives half so well as a holy friar.
  • Gula plures occidit quam gladius, estque fomes omnium malorum.
  • The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
  • Magister artis ingenique largitor Venter.
    • The belly (i. e. necessity) is the teacher of art and the liberal bestower of wit.
    • Persius, Prologue to Satires, 10.
  • Whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.
    • Philippians, III. 19.
  • Festo die si quid prodegeris,
    Profesto egere liceat nisi peperceris.
    • Feast to-day makes fast to-morrow.
    • Plautus, Aulularia.
  • Their best and most wholesome feeding is upon one dish and no more and the same plaine and simple: for surely this hudling of many meats one upon another of divers tastes is pestiferous. But sundrie sauces are more dangerous than that.
    • Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book XI, Chapter LIII. Holland's translation.
  • What, did you not know, then, that to-day Lucullus dines with Lucullus?
    • Plutarch, Lives, Life of Lucullus, Volume III, p. 280.
  • "Pray take them, Sir,—Enough's a Feast;
    Eat some, and pocket up the rest."
  • "An't it please your Honour," quoth the Peasant,
    "This same Dessert is not so pleasant:
    Give me again my hollow Tree,
    A crust of Bread, and Liberty."
  • Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
    • Proverbs, XV. 17.
  • L'abstenir pour jouir, c'est l'épicurisme de la raison.
  • Dis moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.
    • Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.
    • Brillat Savarin, Physiologie du Gout.
  • A very man—not one of nature's clods—
    With human failings, whether saint or sinner:
    Endowed perhaps with genius from the gods
    But apt to take his temper from his dinner.
  • A dinner lubricates business.
  • Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine,
    Yet let's be merry; we'll have tea and toast;
    Custards for supper, and an endless host
    Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies,
    And other such ladylike luxuries.
  • Oh, herbaceous treat!
    'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat;
    Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,
    And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl;
    Serenely full the epicure would say?
    "Fate cannot harm me,—I have dined to-day."
  • Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.
    • Attributed to Socrates by Plutarch, Morals, How a Young Man Ought to Hear Poems.
  • This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.

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