We tend to think of metabolism in purely physiological terms. I'd like to help you broaden your view of metabolism a bit. I invite you to think of metabolism as information processing. Let's take the act of eating, for example. We can think of eating in purely physiological, metabolic terms... or we can think of eating as an informational process in which an act of tasting is an act of knowing.
I describe this Info-Experiential view of eating in my new book, Reinventing the Meal, but here's a similar perspective from Dr. Hari Sharma, MD, a Western trained proponent of ancient Vedic approaches to healing:
"When the taste receptors first experience the different taste and textural properties of a meal, an enormous amount of information is delivered through the body (primarily through the limbic system), triggering basic metabolic processes."
"The body eventually metabolizes the molecular constituents of the food, but it first metabolizes the sensory experience of taste."
"Long before the food is digested, its influence has spread throughout the body. A delicious meal is more than a treat; the taste can be nourishing in itself."
"The body metabolizes the emotional content of every experience that it has," writes Dr. Sharma. And that includes the experience of taste.
In sum, to taste is to experience, to experience is to feel, and to feel is to know.