3 June 2022

Why we eat what we eat?

Have you ever noticed that smelling food, hearing cooking noises, or just looking at food makes you feel hungry? What’s happening is what happened to Pavlov’s dogs. Pavlov showed that dogs would salivate when they heard or saw something that they had previously associated with food. You’re no different! Salivation isn’t your body’s only response. Even without touching food your pancreas secretes insulin. This insulin lowers your blood sugar level, which makes you feel hungry.

I hope that by learning about the factors that contribute to eating habits, you will appreciate how amazing our bodies are. Eating the right amount of food is essential to survival. So it’s not surprising that our bodies ensure that the correct amount of food is consumed. Your central nervous system plays a key role in controlling hunger and feeling full. Also, the chemical substances in your brain.

Let’s not forget the influence of our surroundings on our eating behaviour. The presence or absence of food and things associated with food cause the bodily reactions that we have been discussing. The act of eating involves interaction with the world around us. Not only current surroundings, but experiences in the past. Even reminders of the previous meal: how much and what was eaten, influence the next meal.

Scientists see great potential in deeper research, to create new drugs that can help with anorexia or compulsive overeating. Of course, it’s big industry sponsoring this research. I seriously question if this is the right solution. The abundance of food and high levels of stress today make people eat more and more often. Why do we need drugs? Why don’t we just see our anxieties, desires and the thought process itself? Inward observation, without judgement or conclusions. Why we take a burger, soft drink or another candy. The same applies when we feed our cats. Can a processed food made in millions of tons (especially dry kibbles) really be healthy? Questioning and doubting leads to freedom. Maybe you will start eating properly for yourself. Maybe you will also cook once in a while for your cat. That’s the start of a great transformation.

Why we eat what we eat?