Saturday, October 13, 2007

Good foods, bad foods

The amount of psychological programming we have is really astounding, when you come to realize it, especially in regards to labeling some foods as good and others as bad. Even though a piece of chocolate cake is not going to poison you, making you ill or dead, we are programmed to think of it as a deadly poison, and those who partake of it are fools, gambling with their very lives for enjoying a delicious treat.

Chocolate cake contains butter, eggs, flour, cocoa powder or baking chocolate, baking soda or powder, and possibly milk or water. Not exactly terrifying, when broken down, and yet these ingredients, properly blended and baked, create an item that can create guilt and fear in its consumers, and contempt and nastiness in those watching the consumption.

I can eat a slice of chocolate cake. I am not going to die from it, nor will it make me ill as long as proper food handling procedures have been used. However, the self-proclaimed Food Police who feel it is their duty to shame those who eat "bad" foods would probably, without knowing anything about me, try to make me choose a plate of green peppers or a handful of peanuts over the chocolate cake. The first of those items will make me very, very sick, while the second could kill me. The chocolate cake, however, will be easily digested and used for energy by my body without causing me discomfort or illness. I don't believe it is a good idea to label a food as "bad" unless it directly causes a medical problem--and I don't believe that fat is caused by eating "bad" foods OR that fat is a medical problem.

Additionally, labeling foods as "bad" when they do not cause direct harm probably creates more harm than good. Instead of simply enjoying my chocolate cake, I am supposed to have a big guilt trip for doing so. What good does being ashamed of myself for eating something do? I'm still going to have my cake, but I'm supposed to hate myself and be miserable about it? No thanks; I have enough problems as it is without having to feel guilty for eating things that aren't hurting me.

The psychological self-torture people put themselves through over a bit of food is ridiculous, especially considering that we already have enough things around us to make us feel like crap. Reject the food police, reject the shame, and enjoy your cake. Life should be good and enjoyable, not filled with self-imposed misery. Be glad that you live in a place where we have enough to eat, because not everybody does. So you have some extra adipose tissue? Good! That's a survival advantage! I wish everyone in the world had the opportunity to become fat, and that no one went hungry.

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