Addiction and Desire
Humans are ridiculous beasts. I include myself in this assessment. We would rather (at least as I observe in our American culture) be instantly gratified by something tasty or something that stimulates our brain for a moment than be sustained and nourished long term.
Food used to take work. Whether you take a look at our prehistoric ancestors who had to hunt and gather or our agricultural era forefathers and mothers who labored and toiled over the growth and production of grains, milk, vegetables, and meat, you see that everyone had to work for what they put in their mouths. When they said their prayers, they were truly grateful because they’d worked their asses off and were exhausted by the time they sat down to a meal of real food. Even corn mash and collard greens fit the bill for real gratitude.
Today we rush. We want what feels and tastes good; we want what comforts us when we’ve had a crappy day or when our boss, brother, or spouse has been a real meanie. We’ve trained our brains to expect food as drugs rather than food as delicious god-and/or-earth-given nourishment for our minds, bodies, and souls. In the stimulation of ourselves we think we are providing for ourselves, but we’re really missing out.
We’ve become addicted to un-food in this process. We can’t taste spinach or pinto beans or almonds anymore. They don’t satisfy us very well. Water is bland. Tea and coffee are no good without all the “fixings.” We want dessert, a little something special in the afternoon, lots and lots of sugar for breakfast, or to get happy at that very special hour after work.
I spoke to a man yesterday who was looking for supplements in the digestive aisle. There are lots of options. It’s a long aisle. He informed me that he required some powerful digestive enzymes because he was really not able to digest anything he ate. He said he’d tried everything and nothing was working for him. I asked a couple questions, but he didn’t care to answer. He just wanted the best, cheapest pills we had for his digestive issue. I let him know that the best, cheapest thing he could do was to remove the foods he thought were the biggest problem from his diet and see how he did. Just for a while. You know, sir, not forever. He said that, nah, that was too hard and took too much effort. Just the pills, please.
I see this a lot. Everyday, in fact. People tell me that my suggestions are too hard, too time consuming, too frustrating, too restrictive. It’s probably true. They probably are. But the food suggestions I make toward real nourishment and real health are not the problem, as far as I can tell. The corner we’ve painted ourselves into with our choices and our addictions are the main problem. How much we demand for our taste buds and brains are impossible to keep up with once we decide we would like to be well. It’s the whole having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too predicament.
Becoming re-acquainted with real food, the time real food takes, and the nourishment and health real food provides is work. It does take time out of a person’s schedule. It is not fast food and it cannot be put into a microwave. Consider the time food would have taken to be hunted, gathered, grown, raised, and made. It may not be addictive in the same way un-food is, but it can fulfill desire.