Food for the tongue, nose and eyes? For the stomach? For feeling warm and safe? For fit body? For health?
My husband loves eating and cooking. This is why often in the evenings cooking shows appear on our TV screen. Their number impresses me a lot. My mind likes to “ make an order” in the huge amounts of information. So it starts to observe and classify. At the very beginning it differentiated between very exotic ones and local ones. Then based on cook’s speaking style. It differentiated restrictive ones, wege type, vegan, lactose or gluten free and those that are abundant.
In the next step, I have started to reflect on who is the presumed audience for these programs and what do they expect to see. As I am a medical doctor I used my biological way of seeing the world for this analysis. Step by step an astonishing world appeared to me.
Majority of cooking shows deliver information and advice on how to delight our tongues with all those screams, ecstasy murmurs when tasting different ingredients or final dishes. Yummy! If I was able to map the level of attention on the tongue, it would take a minimum of ¾ of the brain. In many cases the focus is extended to the nasal ecstasy as well. These very profound sniffs absorbing in a very gentle way the air moved by a swinging hand of a cook. What grace! What a pleasure!
An increasing number of shows add eyes as a target to be satisfied. Here one can find different trends: “little something” on beautiful plates garnished with rich, baroque decorations, thick homemade style slices and many others. I am curious if there are also fashion trends created by famous food designers?
I am slowly coming to the conclusion that the majority of cooking shows are done to help us tosatisfy our tongues, noses and eyes.
And tongues, noses and eyes of our family members and friends. I am really curious if the producers of these shows have their segmentation of different social environments? It is very probable. Maybe it is already a way to differentiate ourselves? Or maybe the importance we give to the tongue, nose or eyes is already a part of what is often called: “the way of expressing ourselves”?
There are also cooking programs that go a little bit further. They help us to extend our satisfaction and they add the stomach to the play. They are easy to recognize. Usually the dishes prepared are really rich and big and the meals consist of minimum 3 different dishes. Sometimes my husband and me allow ourselves to get seduced. We go to the restaurant serving such dishes or we prepare a sumptuous dinner for our friends. Already during the second dish people start to wipe the sweat from their foreheads. But we all know: the appetite comes with eating – so even after a dessert a small amuse-gueules are still welcome.
Oh, this feeling of fullness, heaviness, and warmth. The feeling of laziness and somnolence! This state of bliss and safety. Oh, it’s so great,
even if the following night would be sleepless, dreams heavy and the next morning difficult.
Here my medical doctor imagination switches on. What can I see? The intestines look like highways during holidays weekends: fully congested. Contrary to the highways, the intestines can expand, taking much more space in the belly, pushing up even lungs higher. So, we can’t breathe easily. The secreted digestive enzymes are not sufficient, so the big amount of undigested food fills the intestines. The blood filled with the absorbed substances has to be filtered by the liver . The liver becomes very busy and overloaded. It is not able to deal with such an amount- so the quality of its work becomes low. The substances that had to be stopped and neutralised in the liver flow to the tissues and cells. But the memory of the late evening’s state of bliss is still so strong in our minds and our bodies. It looks like we need to pay quite a high price for this feeling of safety, so rare in our lives.
My medical doctor mind restarts to ask the basic questions. What purpose does the food serve then?
The short answer is: it has 2 roles. The first is to deliver substances that can be digested to deliver energy for living. The second is to deliver building materials replacing substances worn-out in cells and tissues. So, what we eat literally builds us and rebuilds. Wow! I don’t want to be built out of
rancid or refined fatty acids type trans. They would constantly stimulate my cells to get out of control and become cancer!
So, the food must be healthy? Often we associate the word “healthy” with “not tasty”. I hear already my husband asking: no more grilled bacon in my life? No, it is not right. Our liver, if not overloaded, can usually cope with such excesses. So maybe the answer is:
the food should be balanced?
There are some cooking shows that aim at showing how to cook healthy food, but very often they focus on what NOT to eat. So how to cook without meat, eggs, milk, gluten or many others. If for any reason we can’t or we don’t want to eat one of these ingredients, we will get an advice there, on how to replace them and still get a similarly tasting dish.
So, how should I eat if I am healthy and I wish to have enough energy available to do what I want? Available energy meaning that it would not be used mostly for digestion. Do big amounts of proteins that dominate our dishes are as healthy as we believe they are? (This reminds me of a dinner at a very well known and highly recognized restaurant where vegetables were used only as a decoration). How to cook in order to get the food that is tasty, that does not need a lot of energy to be digested and that can make us strong and healthy? We have more information about, for example, the difference between refined and not refined oils. But when and how to use them to get the dish that is tasty and balanced? Is there any important difference between wholegrain bread and bread with grains? There are so many questions and an ever increasing number of available answers. In majority they answer the question what to eat and what to avoid. But how to use all this knowledge to prepare a balanced meal?
I am not a cook, but guided by a modern science I discovered my own ways to cook in a tasty and balanced way. So it is possible. And imagine, what it would be like if a proper cook would take care of it. Wow, what a dream!
I dream about a cook who will
cook in a tasty, nice way and who will take care of the final result. But the final effect not just on my tongue- but in my tissues.
A cook who will be able to teach me how to plan a meal that will satisfy my tongue, nose, eyes and my stomach and intestines. A meal that will bring me more energy. A meal that will deliver all the necessary ingredients and will avoid what my cells don’t need. I dream about cooks and cooking shows that will teach more than just how to balance the taste.