In a world of foods designed to hack our brains, where can we find true pleasure?
Why do we like food? Put simply, we like food because it tastes good.
When we think about tasty food we tend to think about pleasure, and pleasure is good right?
Yes, it is. But, pleasure is actually an element of survival and that is why we seek it out. That is also why big food companies spend big money creating foods that light up the pleasure centers of our brains.
These days many of us don’t think about the survival aspect of food. More often it is about convenience and taste.
Ready to eat food is so “readily” available and convenient in America that many people have stopped paying attention to what they are putting into their bodies.
For example, when the average consumer will see a hamburger in front of them, it looks tasty, and so they eat it. Many do not stop and think, “Hey, wait a minute. What are all the things that went into the making of this hamburger? And, if I saw those raw ingredients in the supermarket, would I buy those things and put them together myself and consume them?”
The answer is probably not.
Here is the thing, the Standard American Diet (SAD), will give you the standard American diseases…also sad : (
What we eat can play a bigger role in our health than genetics.
This is according to one famous study called Ni-Hon-San. The study followed Japanese immigrants from Japan, to Honolulu, to San Francisco, hence the name (Ni-Hon-San.)
Essentially what happened is that the Japanese living in Japan had the epidemiology of most Japanese people - they didn’t have much chronic disease. When they moved to Honolulu, their health went south. They started to develop some chronic diseases and become more susceptible to obesity. Then, when they moved to the mainland in San Francisco, they began to develop the same negative health trends of chronic illness and obesity seen in Americans today.
So what changed? Obviously their genes hadn’t changed. Their culture, environment, and DIET had changed.
World wide the demand for convenience at a value has resulted in a huge escalation in mass food processing.
The processing of food is not just to make it easy, safe, or shelf stable. The processing of food is also to maximize profit for the food companies, by maximizing the amount of eating we do before we feel full.
They do this by engineering and processing the food in such a way that makes us want more.
Let’s take a look at cheese puffs for example.
This snack was designed specifically to light up a number of pleasure centers in a consumer's brain. Color, crunch, mouth feel, odor, taste, but the most ingenious feature is something called “Vanishing Caloric Density.”
This is the “melt in your mouth” quality of cheese puffs that makes them “disappear” quickly and then tricks your brain into thinking you are not consuming calories.
Now, take a minute to think about all the other snack foods that also have that quality. Boom!
Time to wake up and seriously look at the food on the store shelves from a different angle.
These foods are purposefully designed to get us as close as possible to the bliss point in our brains. To get to the point where people literally cannot stop eating….because your brain has been hacked.
You all know that saying, “you can’t eat just one” especially when it comes to chips. In fact, specifically one chip company's slogan comes to mind “once you pop, you just can’t stop!”
Because it was designed to do so!
Food companies want to take this brain hack all the way to the bank so they can make the big bucks at the expense of the consumer's health.
Ok, so how do we avoid getting our brains taken over by engineered techy foods?
Cooking! Yup it’s that simple.
Cooking engages all of our senses. When our senses are engaged, we instinctively know what foods are good for us and which are bad for us.
When you cook, you are forced to think about what is going into the dish and therefore what is also going into your body.
Every time you add something to the pot, you are also faced with the choice “is this something that I want to put into my body or not?”
Designing processed food might be like rocket science, but cooking your food absolutely does not have to be!
The basic theme to cooking and eating healthy is just to use foods that come from nature.
Food from nature is already perfectly designed to nourish our bodies and support our health.
It makes me so sad to think about how disconnected society has become from nature. This once basic wisdom of eating from nature has been greatly lost among the pervasiveness of the big processed food industry.
Choosing to buy your food from a small, family owned and operated, regenerative farm is no small act.
By doing so you are making a huge positive impact on your health, the health of the planet, and using your consumer dollars towards something meaningful.
Beiler Family Farm promises to provide you with food from nature, so that you can feel your best, and feeling your best is a true pleasure!
Enjoy the food,
And the Beiler Farm Team