The last time I visited the topic of “Fuel” was 4 years ago. All I wrote at the time is “fuel=food”. While that statement is true, it is such a complex topic in our society that tomorrow may present a new understanding of our relationship with food, individually and collectively.
What DO we know about food? Well, indeed it is fuel. To sum it up, food turns to energy that our body uses to function. Even food that is unused is a form of stored energy called fat. Fat is intended to serve a function of reserve fuel in times of low resources. In a resource rich society like America excess can then become an issue. The opposite is when resources are low and deprivation becomes the issue.
Thinking about hunger in both ways may help to understand how food not only is a fuel for our bodily function but how it also fuels our personal and social relationships.
Food brings people together, it helps define culture, it can be used as power, it is a central feature of gathering, it is a means of producing feelings and the motivations behind its existence in our lives is usually completely unconscious. When you ARE hungry most of the time you don’t realize why that is, when you eat when you ARE NOT hungry you are sometimes equally unaware of why you do or even that you did.
We need food. We need it for survival. Sometimes this survival reaches far past the physical need to an emotional need. Food for some can become the most important relationship they have.
When I was in my 30’s I had a moment where I realized I had spent an incredible amount my life thinking about food.