Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Does the human body crave the foods it requires?

CravingImage by ex.libris via Flickr

I just found a post I really had to comment on. Couldn't find a way to link it back here so just thought I'd do it myself. The question was Does the human body crave the foods it requires?

Good point I thought. So I went on a little tirade that I want to keep for posterity. Hopefully it puts my thoughts into a succinct couple of paragraphs.

Everything I see and learn reinforces my view that we are built, just like all other animals, to survive. So our genes will play some part in telling us what to eat but I feel we just learn a lot very quickly when we're young.
We copy everyone around us. We put worms and dirt in our mouths and our parents scold us. Babies will try just 
anything. Parents just protect them from the dangerous stuff. All this experience becomes part of us because it trains our systems, nervous, emotional, physical and the rest of it.
When we're sick cos we ate something bad our bodies are designed to associate it with what made us sick. that's our evolutionary response and in our DNA. We're different to animals in that we override this. Rats undernourished naturally chose food that replaced lost nutrients, humans don't. alcoholics have cronic vitamin defficiency but don't fix it.
So I'd argue that humans are ruled by their minds and emotions far more than animals. We actually learn to ignore our natural instincts infavour of cultural norms and personal preferences.

So, yes I think we genuinely can detect what's in our food, and eat appropriate foods to get the right balance. I just think our lifestyles encourage us to ignore this and we don't really learn how to listen. 

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