Food is a topic very close to my hear. In fact, it’s a topic that’s probably congealing around my heart and arteries right now. There’s a saying, which may be a quote but a 2 second search didn’t turn anything up that some people eat to live while others live to eat. I don’t think this is necessarily isolated to food, some people go jogging to live while other people live to go running, and you can probably say the same for a lot of things, including working for a living.
The difference is that due to the health risks associated with eating some things or particular quantities of food, there is a stigma attached, or there appears to be a stigma attached to eating food for pleasure. So much so in fact that no one turns a head when it’s described as a guilty pleasure.
Obviously, I’m invested in food, so this is a partisan post, I can’t really be entirely objective about it. But I was thinking about the stigma of enjoying food for the sake of it, and whether we impose that guilt upon ourselves or not. I tried to abstract it out.
If you liked building ships with matchsticks, and found that an hour or two a day really calmed you down from work, made you feel happy and comfortable, and basically soothed you emotionally, no one would really bat an eyelid. Maybe if you made a lot of matchstick ships people might think you were a little lonely or something. But what if you spent two hours a day doing it, and it eventually caused Carpal tunnel or RSI? Your GP might suggest you cut back a little, that so much matchstick handling was causing you some damage that in later life would lead to serious issues. How would you feel?
And then I realised that sounded a lot like self-pity and unhelpful. So I thought about it some more and I think the issue is greed. It’s seen as greedy to want to eat food just for the sake of enjoying the food itself. Maybe it is, greedy in the same way as owning another car if you collect cars but can’t drive them all at the same time might be greedy. Or greedy like buying more music than you could ever sensibly listen to, because you’re a collector or enthusiast.
But that turned out to be pretty weak as well when I looked at harder.
- Greed: Excessive desire for more than one needs or deserves
That kinda covers it, hard to really avoid that. So it’s not greedy to want to eat fantastic pleasurable food while you’re also hungry, but it is greedy to want to eat more than just mere hunger requires. The problem I guess, is that it is possible to want to eat pleasurable food while you’re hungry or without major impact but it’s still seen as greedy or a guilty pleasure.
Blurgh, I waffled and lost my train of thought and I give up. Maybe I’m just bitter about being diabetic, and how it’s affected my ability to just eat what I like, and that of course leads to the realisation that it’s probably because I ate what I liked that I became diabetic. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a combination of genetic makeup and diet, some people with my diet probably don’t become diabetic, which is doubly frustrating. It’s a lottery, the results of eating for pleasure are a lottery, while everyone who does it is viewed as greedy. Maybe thats it.
Who knows. I don’t that’s for sure, and this pointless post proves it.