ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Our obsession with eating - food

Updated on September 23, 2011
Our wealth have brought abundance and convenience of food
Our wealth have brought abundance and convenience of food
Socializing with food
Socializing with food
A meal once fit for a king
A meal once fit for a king

Eating in America

First, it is imperative that I state that I love to eat. I love food. Its taste, texture, looks and the way it makes me feel. Well now this is the problem for me, isn't it? I don't seem to control my food impulses very well which results in my rather large girth. I can't have it all, I guess. Can't have my cake and eat it too.

As I, like the so many other Americans, gained weight and bulked up, I wondered what is different in this age with this generation. Hmmm. I began to examine the way we eat and came to the following conclusions. Mind you, these are strictly my conclusions and opinions.

Compared to the past, 1960 and prior; we feast! Feast in the sense of the Roman orgies so often depicted in movies. We don't simply eat to nourish our bodies, we devour our food. Food once considered "special" for special occasions or Sunday dinners.

Meals once consisted of a small dinner plate at supper time. A balanced meal was considered to be meat, starch, vegetables and dessert. Portions were filling but not meant for over eating. Unlike today where everything is "super sized." Restaurants serve meals on platters once reserved for the dinner table beef roast or whole chicken to be cut and distributed to the others at the table. Now a platter is filled with food for one person to consume.

Looking way into the past of human eating, I noted that as nomadic we ate what was available as we travelled. Eating was a social event rather to nourish and fuel our bodies.

In "Desert Flower," the Somalian, now American super model, Waris Dirie, described her nomadic early life. She was sent out early in the morning at 5 years of age or sooner, to tend to the family goats. She remained in the desert, far from her family, and alone, the entire day until night fall when she and the heard of goats returned to the familial camp. Then, she was given a cup of goat milk along with the rest of the family.

One cup of goat milk per day. Imagine it.

When I travelled Europe I ate in homes of friends and learned of their eating habits. There was no huge breakfast or lunch. Often there was no lunch. Dinner is often eaten after 9 pm. Quantities are average. Food was food. For nourishment not for entertainment, at least for the average person and family.

My middle Eastern friends begin their day with bread and cheese most often with a small amount of fruit. They don't eat again until late that evening when they sit down as a family to eat the evening meal which may consist of rice, vegetables, meat and tea. Nourishment. Feasts are reserved for weddings and special occasions.

As I sit at my dinner table filled with incredible foods, I think of this. I look around at so many of my rotund and obese friends and family, no longer wondering why.

I remember reading of cultures that considered "fat" to be equal to wealth. That kings and other prominent figures of society were fat because they could afford food and didn't have to perform any physical labor. Their subjects were often thin to the point of skinny because they were too poor to buy much food and they labored long in physical toil.

It appears that we have succumbed to our wealth. This country has been so incredibly successful that we have been able to mass produce what once was rare into everyday fare. We are able to live like royalty; kings and queens. Who would've thought that the wealth and comfort we enjoy, compared to the rest of the world, would kill us.

I began paring back my eating trying hard to get back to just basic eating to nourish and fuel my body. I never imagined that it would be so difficult. I must isolate myself to do this.

Eating in America is a social custom well ingrained in us all. Everywhere I look there is food. Billboards, television, magazine and newspaper advertisements.

One magazine covers it all. For the past 20 years, "Woman's World" has had a cover with a woman proclaiming that she lost 10 pounds (or more).Always a different woman but the cover had never changed in all this time. Inside will be her story along with her diet and information, "how to" on how she lost weight. Turn the page and there will be recipe after recipe for decadent chocolate goodies, deserts, and meals.

Food, eating, is our pastime. Our compulsion. Our obsession.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • romneykat profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Near San Francisco, CA

      Ah, yes. The convenient, fast food that we demand. I note that England and other countries are now sprouting up these fast food wonders. Also note that people there are gaining a lot of weight.

      I loved the pizzas in Italy! I've found some similar in the frozen section, but, alas, all the additives to get them to market.

      Another peeve of mine, hormone filled chicken, beef, etc. Chemical additives along with sugars and salt filled convenience packaged foods. How healthy is that?

      Thanks for your comment and wishes for my endeavor to pare back.

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      9 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      All true! But it is not just the quantities it is also the quality of the food. My understanding is that America, and other affluent Western countries have turned into fast food nations. Huge double sized greasy burgers, massive pizzas with extra cheese and toppings etc etc. In Italy where pizzas were invented they don't remotely resemble the great cheesy thick crusted things you buy in Dominos or Pizza Hut. Rather they are light, thin crusted with a delicate topping and a sprinkle of cheese. And perish the thought of baking a sausage into the pizza crust - as I have seen on the TV add! Pretty gross really. Good luck in your quest to pare back!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)