Archive for April, 2017

You Are What You Eat

April 16, 2017

Only in Nigeria do people be eating like we eat and argue that after all their ancestors ate like that. Our ancestors also walked every where, spent 8 months out of twelve on the farm and generally burned more calories than they ate. Only the petit bourgeois elite had fat wives because it showed they didn’t go to the farm or the market. Just like the white elite too. Except in their case it was pale skin as a sign you didn’t have to work in the fields like a peasant. And the consumption of rare and rich food was equated with privilege.

All that elitist bullshit. Anyway, my point is we really shouldn’t be eating like our ancestors. We do not work like them. We probably have a sedentary office job and a driver. It’s not about ‘diet’ or ‘a diet’. Its a lifestyle thing. How much we eat and what we eat is all about what we do for a living but most of us are so programmed in our primitive brain stem that we need to feel full and comfortable. You know, in case you have to run from a man eating lion in the jungle. Or slave hunters. Or in case there is a famine. Who knows?

Then again as we age we just can’t eat as much as we did when we were high revving teenagers. The metabolism slows down and shit and things like beer guts and spate tyres and love handles tend to multiply. You just have to consume less calories. Even if you are one of those people that doesn’t add weight no matter what you eat, sensible calorie restriction is indicated in positive long term health outcomes.

Of course food is never just about food. Just like sex is never just about sex. Its comfort and nurture and reward and punishment and power. Most modern humans have a complex relationship with food and body image compounded through mass media. Then there is of course the social  and cultural significance of food (link to old post on food politics) Its a minefield.

We love Nigerian food but we know we just can’t eat it as much of it as we did when we were younger. And that’s cool. We adapt. And its easier to adapt than we think.