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