Posts Tagged ‘senses

06
Sep
19

Food for Thought…the Sensuality of Food

*****

Now, stop right where you are if you think I am even attempting to write some sort of Fifty Shades of Food Porn.  I am not.   I am just going to make a “brief” statement…and then, later, maybe, expand upon it as thoughts come to me…about how food is not just for eating and/or replenishing the energy we use to perform certain physical functions.

This may not be a mind-blower to many of you.

But, have you considered how food (including all the “junk” you stuff down your throats) is more than the stuff that…you…stuff down your throats…to satisfy what the average person understands as hunger?

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “brain food.”  Yes?  You acknowledge how certain foods are used to “fuel the brain” (not the stomach).  ‘Ever thought about that?  About why that food impacts your mind’s ability to function?  It’s SENSORY.  It’s SENSUAL.

It affects the senses.  It’s not just what makes you happy when you’re sad (like the pint of ice cream or chocolate used by, typically, a woman in emotional distress after some relationship-related conflict, whether that’s a romantic, family or work-related conflict).  It’s not just what gives your brain that buzz it needs to stay “focused” on work (or whatever you do otherwise creatively).

It’s a smell that sticks in your mind and can sell you on more of the same food every time you smell, hear, see or think of it.  It stains your clothes and your memory; and those stains can affect your ability to function, throw you off “your game” and make you self-conscious or distracted at a crucial moment.  It conjures thoughts, reminding you of the best ice cream you ever had how long ago, like remembering a lost friend or lover.  Money may be the root of evil and make the world go ’round.  But, food is as effective as music at messing with the mind.  [You tell me, travelers who get around more than I do, how much food appears in hieroglyphics and other old paintings.]

You don’t even have to EAT food to be filled or made hungry by it.  How does food make you hunger for it?  And, how can you be satisfied by food without eating it?  Think about that.

Why do artists bother with recreating bowls of fruit?  I never understood it.  I never enjoyed it…unless I could turn the fruit into cartoon characters with silly faces.  But, now, I think I get it.  It’s because the food is speaking to the artist who enjoys recreating it.  It’s, in a slightly different way, brain food.

When you’re in a movie theater chugging back sodas and snacks, why do you mindlessly do so?  Well, there’s another concept at play, there.  It’s what the theaters relish to see, people turning off their hunger meters to ride the E of mindless entertainment, or ME.  You don’t think about or likely even smell what goes in your mouth when your minds are racing to process what’s on the screen.

Yet, something compels you to buy the snacks (or sneak your own under your clothes) and stuff your face until you might feel the urge to get refills.  Why?  In part, because you convince yourselves the food matters.  But, in another part, the food is having a sensual impact on your mind.  The crunch of popcorn.  The cool, icy sweetness of a good soda.  The stimulation and labor of teeth and gums on chewy candy.  It’s like an orgy in your mouth; it’s like an R-rated movie playing out while you watch…I dunno…Frozen part 52 with your sister’s kids.  One eye is watching a snowman dance and sing with little kids while your mouth is doing the apple-mango tango with highly processed popcorn and other snacks.  You just tune out the orgasmic moans and panting to hear the next kid-friendly song.

So, the next time you’re irritated by the fuzz on a peach or tell someone you don’t like a particular food for whatever reason…think about those reasons and how your body reacts to various foods.  You’re not just eating the food.  You’re smelling, touching, eyeballing and even hearing the sounds given off by the food.

And, your reaction to those sensual aspects affects your daily activity.  In it’s own deceptive way, food can hold power over you, if you let it.  After all, don’t dieters often enough say they are taking a “cheat day?”

[Didn’t a racoon, played by Bruce Willis, give a similar speech to this in Over the Hedge, when he tries to sell the concept of looting to the turtle?]

Food for thought.  [Ka-runch.]

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