Chris Lakin

The purpose of food is to nourish!

Humans.

Hundreds of thousands years of evolution. Hunting and gathering, eating real food.

The taste buds that best led their human to valuable nutrients reproduced superiorly, and thus these taste buds became the most prevalent.

Highly nutritious food is what’s supposed to taste good.

And so it went, hundreds of thousands of years.

Then, all of the sudden, agriculture and civilization. All in a blink, just a few thousand years.

But evolution is slow, and our genes are still suited for the old environment.

Modern civilization. The ability to create new stuff that can be eaten.

I’m not calling anything ‘food’ if it can’t nourish to a high margin. Junk food is just junk, not food.

Soon, we developed the ability to hack our taste buds into believing that this new stuff-that-can-be-eaten tastes good, despite it providing little—and often negative—nutritional value.

The food we’ve created may taste good, but it’s not supposed to. Clearly the junk we eat isn’t supposed to taste good, because it’s not helping us.

Taste is evolutionarily meant to be a compass towards nutrition. We need to protect it. We can’t trust our senses when it comes to food that has been created.

Old genes. New food and competitive human stupidity. Which is going to win if we’re neglectful?


71% of American adults aged 20 and over are overweight or obese (2015-2016).

How does the country that spends the most on healthcare per person—more than double of what other wealthy countries with similar life expectencies spend—have 71% of it’s citizens obese?

And I checked, no, humans aren’t naturally overweight.1


Sugar

For example, we have quite the taste for sugar, but it’s completely toxic.2

Why do we like sugar then? Well we probably like sugar at all because plants that taste sweet are generally trying to signal that they’re not poisonous.

However, in the environment our genes evolved, concentrated sugar did not exist.3 So there was no pressure for our genes to develop defenses against too much sugar, as it’s only been possible in the last blink of evolutionary history!

We can’t trust our taste buds when they lead us to artificial foods. Our taste for sugar and other ‘artificial things-that-can-be-eaten’ is an accident, and it’s killing us!

Don’t let yourself be manipulated by fake food and false happiness.4


Personal experience

When I was 15, three years before writing this essay, I questioned the purpose of food, and I realized that my diet of oreos and salami sandwiches was not optimized. I came to the conclusion that the purpose of food was to make oneself as strong, energetic, and capable as possible. To nourish.

The logic I’ve outlined in this essay is what, from one day to the next three years ago, turned me off sugar and onto deliberate nutrition. Partly due to evolutionary reasoning, I came to reject grains and carbohydrates to instead focus on eating meat, fish, leafy greens, and nuts. However, in 2020 September I switched to a more radical and more restricted diet that seems to have cured my acne. [Link at end of essay.]


More reasons to change your diet

Something else that motivated me to change my diet was that changing then, as a 15-year old, would be far easier than later changing as me, a 28-year old. Habits only get harder to change.

Secondly, if you expect to change your diet in the future anywayto heal a disease, to prevent disease (ex: Alzheimer’s), to live longer, to lose weight, to have more energy, to gain muscle without exercising any more, to stop the headaches, to sleep better, to feel better in every moment …then you might as well start now, it makes no difference.

Again, I believe pleasure from sugar is false happiness.


Footnotes:

  1. And no, we’re not overweight because we eat too much. It’s all about eating too much junk.
  2. With the exception of a few fruits during some seasons in some parts of the world, and honey. Although fruit and honey have much kinder gylcemic effects than added/concentrated sugar.

Related:


Notes


I would like to make this essay better. There’s a lot I’m still thinking about. Let me know if you have any ideas.


Posted 2020 October 24, last revised 2021 February 5.

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