junglegirl: living live in the wild world

Drunk Monkeys, or, How Humans Allowed Themselves To Become Intoxicated By Food.

Now this is interesting!

The concept of using food as a drug and a substitute for, or to avoid feelings first came to my attention through macrobiotics and a book that I’ve since lost (and would love to find, so please let me know if you know which one I’m talking about, thank you!) It described the emotional attraction of specific foods and why we gravitated towards them as a sort of grown-up pacifier. Potato chips, for example are a stress reliever because the severe crunch on one hand is a mildly aggressive act that throws off tension and on the other hand, the act of chewing stimulates the body’s production of serotonin, producing a pleasurable association. *** (I’d like to find the reference but it can be Googled.)

In a world full of people who have never been informed of how to sit and face their emotions and who are terrified by the very prospect, it’s no wonder the chip aisle in even the tiniest grocery store has an enormous selection. Go into a conventional supermarket, and the vast wall of ‘grown-up pacifiers’, ie: chips will make you laugh out loud. Or cry, as the case may be!   I hadn’t been in a conventional supermarket in ages, having the most fortunate priviledge of early exposure to healthier alternatives, and so learned to shop in healthier places, but the last time I was stuck for something random like batteries and went to the local supermarket, I nearly fell over when faced with the the size of the chip isle.   It was both funny and sad.  Most definitely S.A.D..

I would suggest that the next time someone you know who eats the S.A.D (Standard
American Diet) is chomping through a bag of chips, try asking them how everything is going for them and they’ll likely tell you about whatever challenge it is that is sending them into a bag of chips. Listen to their tale, and then as a gift, make them a healthy, raw-crunch substitute and just offer it up. No need to say anything about the emotional mechanics of it all, just give them the gift of say, a bowl of beautifully prepared carrot sticks and spicy avocado dip or cashew hummus. ***See my other blog, http://www.thelivingkitchen.wordpress.com, for recipes.

I love how this video, at the very end, makes the connection that the human attraction to fermented fruit is what probably cued us into sedating ourselves with cooked food.   And of course, I find it very understandable that the first humans would gravitate towards pleasure over health, because until one masters simply living for sheer survival it is very difficult to resist any form of comfort – especially heat, if you’re freezing cold and haven’t yet invented down comfortors and double-paned storm windows – and especially if you have yet to develop an intellectual understanding of what is best over what appears to be best.

In the way that everything is always perfect, taking the concept of right time/right place into account allows for the fact that this was simply one of a long stream of elements in human evolution and we are each only responsible to what optimizes our Selves. We can’t speak for anyone else.  Of course not.  And here’s a thought: who’s to say that the percentage of raw humans to cooked humans hasn’t always been exactly the same?  The internet helps bring all like-minded beings together and that is great.

Having said that, I feel that it definitely helps if a certain amount of base comfort is established in order to create the breathing space for well-being to develop itself. And so, it’s only natural that those humans who have reached that degree of basic-needs-met for themselves now go on to refine their food choices to support even deeper health, and sharing this information as we go with all who are interested. We who are participating in this shift are extremely fortunate and as such really must never judge or be unkind in our veiw of how people eat.

Seeing that we no longer need to rely upon food to express our emotions, we now realize that we have the social and physical structures in place to begin optimizing our choices for nourishment instead of strictly comfort. We are now supported enough to gain our comfort directly through our inter-personal relationships with each other and can learn to express our emotions properly through, gasp! direct communication.
Yes, it’s a brave new frontier!  Yippee!

It’s a fascinating development in human evolution, really though, isn’t it?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Alyne says:

    Perhaps the book you are talking about is When Food is Love by Geneen Roth.

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  2. * junglegirl says:

    Thank you so much, Alyne! I will check this out!

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago

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