The Entwinements of Food
Melissa Albert

As a student of nutrition, food is always at the forefront of my mind. It's the topic of my classes and the subject of most of my homework, not to mention the normal cravings and thoughts of food I experience each day. As would be expected, the overall exposure to food during my school day heightens these normal food cravings I have. In addition to this, I'm a very "orally-fixated" person to begin with. I like to have something in my mouth at all times, be it a pen or gum, and I need to eat those chips in front of me simply because they're there. These things are all related to a feeling of security for me. My desire for food can be attributed to the same reason that Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher deemed her desire for it: "Food, security, and love are all entwined so that we can't think of one without the others" (Fisher 353). Food, for me, is a pleasurable experience that evokes these feelings of security and even love. It's a necessity, a hobby, and a routine all in one. There is even scientific evidence for the connection between food and emotions. The hypothalamus, which regulates our feelings of hunger and satiety, has neural connections with the limbic system, the center for emotions. This is why different emotional states affect hunger, appetite, and satiety.

There are the nutritional needs for food as well, at the very base of why I desire food. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs states that our basic and physical needs must be met before our emotional ones can even be realized, such as our reasons for desiring food. A perfect example of this fact was demonstrated to me when we had our medieval meal one Wednesday in class. I had eaten next to nothing that day and so despite the very strange look of the food and tastes that everyone else was remarking upon, I gulped that meal down with such gusto that I surprised myself. My physical need to be fed was so much stronger at that point. It made strange tastes that may have been there go unnoticed because my desire for food was for simply anything to fill my stomach. I probably wouldn't have even eaten half of it otherwise. Once that physical need was met, I felt my emotions changing too. I was satisfied, warm, and focused on what I had to do next after class. I realized that food does affect our emotions and our emotions affect our desire for food. They are indeed strongly entwined.

Work Cited

Fisher, Mary Frances Kennedy. The Art of Eating. NY: Collier Books, 1990.

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