Monday, 27 July 2009

A £10 Bid for Freedom

Well, the start of next month--this Saturday--marks the start of what is being colloquially called ‘Fuck Food Month’.

This idea was born out of a rant I had one day in Scotland.  Flush with the cleansing feeling brought about by the lack of TV and internet, the fact I hadn’t even wound my watch since we’d arrived, deciding what to do that day when we woke up and congregated in the living room, I started looking around at the rest of my life.  What did I find?  Food.

You see, from before we’re born with indoctrinated with the idea that food matters.  What we eat, what we don’t eat, how much we eat, where we buy things from, how the things we buy are produced, how they’re transported... the list goes on.  Just a quick look around shows you how obsessed our society is with food.  Count how many food shops there are in your town--supermarkets, restaurants, fast food places, bakers, butchers...  How many adverts on the TV are about food?  How many shows are there about food?  Magazines?  Billboards?  People are even more obsessed over food than they are over sex, and that’s saying something.

Food aid charities keep running adverts saying, ‘£10 will feed a family for a month...’, or whatever.  Well, clearly then food is a choice, not a necessity.  When we’re eating, we’re sustaining our bodies and our brains.  Strip everything away, and that’s what you’re left with.  Anything above and beyond that is an indulgence in the experience of food.  In the taste, the texture, the preparation, the art and sensation of it.  When you look at the food you eat every day, and the way you eat it, it seems as if we’re being stiffed a bit.  The supermarkets have convinced us that choice of food is a human necessity, and have consistently lowered the standards of the foods offered, masked by an increase in choice.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to play any more.  For all of August, I’m going to be sustaining my body and my brain, not worrying about food and getting on with far more important things life has to offer.  I’m going to be breaking my psychological addiction to food.  I must have made some sense, because Allegra has decided to join me in the experiment.  Using the same tables and charts the food charities use, she has worked out our diet for the coming month.  Per day:
200 grams of rice;
250 grams of chickpeas;
150 grams of nuts;
to be supplemented with fresh fruit as and when we can.

I have high hopes, to be honest.  By the end of the month, I hope to have cleared away another chunk of the blinding smog society forces into our psyches without us even realising it.

I’ve already given up alcohol and meat.  That’s pretty mundane and, on the surface, makes me look a bit boring (or religious...).  I’m hoping I can eliminate more and more of this institutional smog my brain is so choked with.  I’m also hoping that if I eliminate enough, I will pass through ‘boring’ and into the eccentric side of ‘interesting’.

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