I really do find some foods addictive.
These are foods that are “moreish” – if I start eating them, then I won’t stop until I am over-full. But if I don’t start, then they have as much relevance in my life as the contestants in The Voice – they’re out there somewhere, on tv stations I don’t watch and in magazines I don’t read, they’re a topic for other people’s conversations. But they might as well be tractor parts for all I notice or care.
So the good news is that if I eat ridiculous amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables during a day (and this is a delight at this time of year) then manufactured foods full of sugar, salt and fat relegate themselves to the category of “not food”. They mean nothing to me, oh Vienna. Or ‘oh Viennetta’ perhaps.
The flipside of course is if I do end up hungry and in a hurry, then the choices in this obesogenic world are all designed to bypass my cognitive functions and hit me straight in the serotonin receptors. And ye gods, but they do. Again and again and again. I only have the chance to say “no” to the first one. Which of course is why there are only two aisles of expensive fruit and veg in most supermarkets, and eight or twelve aisles of fat, sugar and salt (full of creamy mouth appeal) keeping the senior management of Unilever, Kraft and Nestle in bonuses. Sometime in the nineties or noughties manufactured food became cheaper than the real thing. And the food manufacturers now are as cynically vampiric as cigarette manufacturers. And they know it. And so, if we think about it, do we.