While I am up in the mountains at this glorius cabin with no one around for miles. Its just me, my textbooks, and my wife. I have been thinking a lot about our food and how I use/abuse it, or at the very least, misuse it.
From the time we were kids our parents told us “don’t play with your food”. But some of the first toys I remember were board games called “Candyland” and “Hi-Ho Cherry-O”. Who can forget the hours of fun with Mr. Potato Head or as we grew older, playing “hungry hungry hippos”.
Talk about your mixed messages!
The irony is kinda funny, now, as we reflect on it. But even then the grooves (or ruts) were worn into our psyche…if you are bored, food can entertain; if you are blue, food can boost you, etc.
As I have mentioned preciuosly, tv segments like Julia Childs which once handed out info to forlorn housewives have morphed into their own shows, then networks, and now to fill the time-void, reality shows and competitions.
It is clear that food is far more than energy and nutrition.
The psychosis has grown so bad that we now are in the grasp of The Law of Diminishing Returns so that we are forced to consume more, more exotic, new restaurants ,or food prepared from new lands or with new spices so that we can continue to bring the same amount of joy and pleasure from our food.
With all of this in mind, may I present to you my top 10 list of ways we play with our food.
10. Foodertaintment – my description of the food network et al.
9. Food as sex or at least sex/romantic surrogate. Thank you valentine’s day and the movie 9 1/2 weeks. Boy how creepy is this one!
8. The perpetual search for the next great restaurant.
7. Birthday cakes
6. Superbowl parties/tail gating
5. Donuts at the office meeting or the light h’ors douvres at the office mixer and during breaks at confernces
4. Food competitions ranging from hot dog and pie eating contests to head to head chef battles that offer celebrity status and make gluttony glamorous
3. Board games…or should I say bored games
2. Toys in cereals or with meals (thank you happy meals)
1. Food (chicken nuggets for example) cut into kid-friendly shapes like dinosaurs.
I have several readers from across the USA and the globe and some of these items may be regional or national in their scope.
In light of that I would be interested in things you remeber from your childhood or things you encounter today that seek to “elevate” food from its position as nourishment, to one of entertainment.
Even if they are some in which you have participated, we promise not to tell your moms that you play with your food! 😉