Why Does Food Taste Good?

Thoughts on the Digestive Process

 

I’ve been trying to loose weight lately.  It’s not easy.  When I got married 3 years ago, I weighed around 180ish.  I recently weighed in at 225.  The first time I really caught on was when I reported to my wife that she must have scratched me in the night.  She just smiled and said, “Honey, those are stretch marks.”  I figured it was getting out of hand when I couldn’t tie my shoes without getting out of breath.  What now?  A life of eating junk food and fast food was over.  My life as I knew it had ended.  But then I smiled…I actually like salad.  And I even like the healthy dressings (balsamic vinaigrette and Italian); however, my wife informed me that if I put the usual quarter-cup on my salad that I might as well eat a cheeseburger.  Bummer.

Ok, so I’m actually going somewhere here.  In my slight abstinence I have come to realize something deep.  I hope you have your proverbial seatbelt on, because this will jar your mind.  Ready???  Here it goes…food tastes good.  So maybe that’s not really so earthshattering.  But, maybe it is.  Just think.  Our digestive process only needs to be mastication, digestion, absorption, and excretion.  Nobody ever said it had to taste good!  How did a sense of taste evolve?  If the eating process was only designed to sustain life and nothing more, then why did we evolve the ability to enjoy the process?  Or, to put it in the negative, why did we evolve the ability to dislike certain foods that are necessary for sustaining life?  It really makes no sense outside of Creation.  God has built within His creation the ability to feel pleasure and pain, joy and sadness.  In its most elevated form, these expressions are uniquely enjoyed by humans.  Why does a warm sunshine make me feel happy?  Why does the song on the radio lift my spirit?  Why is sex fun?  Why do I enjoy it when my team wins?

God created me to enjoy things.  God created me so that I can be happy.  But if He created me to be happy, is it not necessary that I must be able to experience sorrow and sadness, guilt and despair?  Although these were not what He intended for me, it was necessary that I be able to experience those feelings if I were to experience pleasure.  There can be not positive without a negative.  God made me to find happiness, but so often I find myself in seasons of suffering and sadness.  What happened?  Interestingly enough, there is this little story in the beginning of the Bible that tells why.  God made man and woman perfect and happy.  They thought something else would make them happy so they rebelled against God.  They plunged the rest of humanity into a rebellion against God.  Now all of humanity struggles to find happiness apart from God.  Every time we taste the deliciousness of a well-crafted pizza or savor the beautiful tones of a popular song, we testify that we were created for something more.  We were created to be happy, but this happiness only comes from our Creator.

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you for ever;

through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Amen.

– Saint Augustine

3 thoughts on “Why Does Food Taste Good?”

  1. Bad food tastes good because we like the taste of salt, sugar and fat – this is because when we ran around long ago killing things to eat these items kept us going, gave us energy – we still like the taste of those things but we dont run around killing stuff. So I’ve worked that out. Now I just need to get off my backside and run around (but I don’t intend killing things – the supermarkets do that for me!)

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