Melissa Albert: Essay

The Entwinements of Food
Melissa Albert

As a student of nutrition, food is always atthe forefront of my mind. It’s the topic of my classes and thesubject of most of my homework, not to mention the normal cravingsand thoughts of food I experience each day. As would be expected,the overall exposure to food during my school day heightens thesenormal 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 atall times, be it a pen or gum, and I need to eat those chips infront of me simply because they’re there. These things are allrelated to a feeling of security for me. My desire for food canbe attributed to the same reason that Mary Frances Kennedy Fisherdeemed her desire for it: “Food, security, and love are allentwined so that we can’t think of one without the others”(Fisher 353). Food, for me, is a pleasurable experience that evokesthese feelings of security and even love. It’s a necessity, ahobby, and a routine all in one. There is even scientific evidencefor the connection between food and emotions. The hypothalamus,which regulates our feelings of hunger and satiety, has neuralconnections with the limbic system, the center for emotions. Thisis why different emotional states affect hunger, appetite, andsatiety.

There are the nutritional needs for food aswell, at the very base of why I desire food. Maslow’s Hierarchyof Needs states that our basic and physical needs must be metbefore our emotional ones can even be realized, such as our reasonsfor desiring food. A perfect example of this fact was demonstratedto me when we had our medieval meal one Wednesday in class. Ihad eaten next to nothing that day and so despite the very strangelook 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 becausemy desire for food was for simply anything to fill my stomach.I probably wouldn’t have even eaten half of it otherwise. Oncethat physical need was met, I felt my emotions changing too. Iwas satisfied, warm, and focused on what I had to do next afterclass. I realized that food does affect our emotions and our emotionsaffect our desire for food. They are indeed strongly entwined.

Work Cited

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

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