Not so long ago there were just one or two food-related programmes a week on the TV. Switch on today and you’re lucky not to be confronted by a beef sirloin or a plate of lamb shanks. With the proliferation of celebrity chefs, reality shows and graphic advertising, the public’s appetite for food has become a cultural obsession. The West has made a god of food and, through the multiplicity of choice, is rarely content with the natural produce of the earth. But being a false god, the overall effect has been negative, manifesting in recent times as an insatiable hunger for extreme culinary sensations and increasing food-related disorders. The fixation with teeth whitening and the proliferation of images of grimacing celebrities are further symptoms of the unhappiness of the times. So what’s going on?
All food disorders arise as an emotional reaction to the lovelessness of the world. There’s little self-restraint, particularly in western society, for those vulnerable to the craving of food and for the immediate comfort it provides as a substitute for love. Fast food, as the name implies, is manufactured to be eaten ‘on the go’ with no time to savour the produce of the blessed earth. Just as it is impossible to process the constant deluge of information and data without mental illness, so it is with the digestion of our food. The most common symptom of a junk food diet manifests as nervous tension, irritability and the speeding up of the thought process. In young people, particularly the new generation of computer gamers, there can be a reciprocal transmission of electromagnetic energy between the computer screen and the unsuspected residual effect of last night’s takeaway.
So where is our relationship with food taking us? In the future, food disorders will manifest as new and disturbing phenomena. Cannibalism, although not currently fashionable, will be the new food craze that will take the culinary world by storm. In generations to come the masses, having been fed on a diet of flesh-eating zombie movies, will have the opportunity to experience something approximating the real thing. This will manifest as meat processed to have the shape and appearance of human body parts. Rather more sinister will be secret ‘gourmet’ clubs offering their members the opportunity to sample the ultimate taboo. Once, when tribal people ate their enemies, it was a ritual of honouring them through a sacred act of inner worship and offering to the earth spirit. This time around, the cannibalistic impulse will be for self-gratification – the ultimate food disorder.