Monday, March 14, 2011

Lunchtime musings

As I sit here eating my bowl of Healthy Choice Cheese Tortellini soup, I have had a thought.  The soup is bland. It needed a little something.  So I sprinkled in a dash of seasoned salt, and a few twists of garlic pepper.  Much better...

But, this blandness has made me realize (not for the first time) that I eat for pleasure, not biological need.  I think we all do this.  It is why the food industry has come up with such abominations as frozen breakfast sausage wrapped in a chocolate chip pancake on a stick, and turducken.  Yes, only Emeril could come up with something so horrid, it needed the word 'turd' right in the name.

We eat food that tastes good.  A million years ago this drive kept us alive.  We craved salty foods to maintain the proper balance in our tissues.  We craved sweet because it is an excellent source of fast energy.  We avoid bitter because bitter things tend to be poisonous.

But, today these drives are no longer necessary.  Food is not scarce.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  We are bombarded with food, fats, sugars, and pure pleasure delights at every moment of every day.

So, my thought:  What would happen if someone (me?) were to systematically deprive oneself of the sense of taste?

What if I spent one month eating nothing but the blandest, most tasteless foods in existence?  What would happen if I ate only for biological reasons?  Would I go insane, or would it re-wire my eating habits?  And, since smell is 90% of the overall sense of taste, maybe I should eat with my nose plugged.  It would reduce the sensations even further....

I am curious.  I may have to give it a try.