ADDICTIVE BY DESIGN: JUNK FOOD
Recently I was introduced to Naked Magazine. I fell in love immediately. The photography leans towards a “feast for the eyes” kind of art. There’s something so chilling and at the same heart warming about this style of photography with food. And the interviews/articles are pretty good as well.
The article that captured me was about how processed foods are created by experts to trigger pleasure and addiction to that pleasure. I had read about this practice in the book Fat, Salt, Sugar. I was stunned at how much went into creating food that sucks us into an experience that leaves us wanting more.
For years I’d joked about being addicted to sugar. I knew that I had a deep connection to sugar and that I used it to avoid some feelings of discomfort. And I knew that it was difficult to cut sugar from my diet. Unlike meat, fowl and fish which I rarely craved.
So here I am in the Bay Area. Newly relocated, under tremendous financial pressure and sometimes work feels so close but eludes my grasp. I have been eating healthy foods and enjoying energy and reduced belly fat. Love it. But then I pushed the limits of my ability to do without food. I’d had my green smoothie for breakfast and then took off to Point Isabel with the dogs for a very long walk. At the end I was famished.
Funny how being hungry at the same time trying to manage the stress underlying my days thoughts, I stopped at a store and was confronted by a favorite memory of junk food in Seattle–Moose Tracks by a PNW company. Wonderful popped corn with caramel drizzle, nuts and dark chocolate. It whispered seductively to me. I touched the box. I moved the box on the shelf and then I picked it up and walked away to the register with it…along with a pot for my quinoa recipe that would be dinner.
I didn’t make OR eat dinner that day. I ate the WHOLE freaking box of Moose Tracks. At first it was just so familiar, reminding me of some delightful years in rainy Seattle. Then I couldn’t put it down. When the box was open, my top button undone on my jeans, I fell over on the couch and slept for two hours. When I woke up from my sugar shock I immediately wrestled with remorse and satisfaction.
The next day, however, I only felt remorse and stuffed into my jeans. Bloat is not my friend. Sugar bloats, the salt on the popcorn and the nuts with loads of fat…don’t get me started. It’s just an ugly ugly thing.
Now I’m hooked again. Not just on the sugar fix, but I wind up eating more of everything as my body pushes me to eat sugar. I can’t give into the sugar addiction again. I have to resist and adapt to the next 2 weeks of internal addictive voices that show up in cravings. Ugh. It’s the worst feeling. No, feelings. Multiple feelings. Physical and emotional and mental.
Those bastard chemists that make this shit–damn them!
Here’s some of the article on Naked Magazine. Posted by David Katz M.D. on 04 Aug 2013 http://nakedfoodmagazine.com/addictive-by-design-junk-food/
I append my own counsel to Pollan’s: taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can’t be with the foods they love, they pretty readily learn to love the foods they’re with. You can, in essence, rehabilitate your taste buds. And once you do, the food industry manipulations become easy to resist.
I agree with Dr. Katz. We can learn to love foods that are good for us. I’ve experienced it. My next few weeks are all about getting back on tracks re-educating my taste buds to love fresh, non-processed, no sugar, no gluten, no fat food. Hail Plants!