Gluttony isn’t one of the 7 deadly sins for no reason. Although it is a sin that all are guilt of. We no longer eat to live but live to eat. The simple reason: pleasure. Food has a way of tapping into the pleasure centre of our brains.
It seems that we humans are programmed to include food in large quantities into our every day lives and every celebration. Think of it. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the turkey, or ham. What is Easter without the chocolates and hot cross buns (personally not a big fan of the buns – no, not even the “chocolate” variety). Halloween is a time of candy and tooth decay. New Year’s is a time for parties and partaking in far too much alcohol whilst wearing a silly hat and thinking up new years resolutions.
Now, not even including the big events we have things like birthdays – did someone say cake…, anniversaries, graduations, sporting events, national and regional holidays.
In Australia most events include burning meat on a barbecue until it is only faintly recognisable as food and being scared away from the cooking if you are a female. It is after all, mens business. We ladies have to toss the salads and butter the breadrolls… and of course not forget to provide the potato salads and potato bake. Can never have too much potato after all – this is something I do personally agree with…
It seems that with all this emphasis on food, we can be slightly pardoned for being a rather obese human populace. Yes, some religions etc have fast days. I tried the whole, giving up something for Lent thing quite a few times when I was younger. It seems like the following things were not acceptable:
- Vegemite – when I can’t stand the stuff already… I just wanted to impose the enforced removal of Vegemite from the menu for as many people as possible.
- Speaking to my older sister. Seems that I had to give up something that was going to be hard for me. Although, anyone who has met my older sister knows that she can talk under wet cement so getting her to shut up would have been a real feat.
- My mums cooking. In particular, her take on Spag Bol (spaghetti Bolognese to non-Aussies).
- Church. I got my block knocked off for that suggestion…
Why is it that we put so much emphasis on food? I know that I, and everyone that I know, tend to turn to food or drink when we are going through different moods. Bored? Grab a chocolate bar or have some ice cream. Lonely? Cuddle up in front of the telly with some chips. Romantic occasion? Chocolate dipped strawberries, or how about some oysters (gag). We are all utilising the see-food diet and when we are actually on a diet, we all reward ourselves with “cheat” days and tell ourselves that since we just did some exercise, that we can eat some horribly, deliciously calorie laden food and it will be no harm, no foul.
I think it is time that we come up with some events that aren’t centred around food and the rest of the time, if we feel like having a chocolate or eating something naughty – let’s stop rationalising it. We are doing so because a) it tastes good, b) it makes us feel better or/and, c) because we bloody well want to.