Food – The Final Frontier
Destination: Inner Space
Gluttony, the final frontier,
These are the voyages of affluent western world. It’s continuing mission to explore strange new foods. To seek out new culinary challenges from all civilization. To bodly eat and become incredibly constipated…like no one has eaten and become incredibly constipated before.
This is where we’ll be going on our flight today but First I have to tell you how we are going to get there
We human beings have been granted our senses purely as a Darwinian means of survival of our species and to overcome the natural disposition of our surroundings.
These sense are:
Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, Smell (and spider for some lucky fucks).
Now over time, some clusters of human kind have managed to tame their environment and bend it to their will. The necessity to survive in it as any other animal would, has become redundant and only the need to survive, is within the limitations of the social boundaries we place on it (i.e. being popular).
Without the need to survive as a stimulus, we thus begin a somewhat dulling of our natural senses, over many generations as a species. Our ears no longer need to be sharper as we are not worried about being hunted by prey. Our sense of smell no longer has to be able to track animals down for food. Our eyesight at night time is less sensitive as we no longer have to worry about being attacked in the night. We no longer purely engage in sexual activities as a means of reproduction, and the rush of endorphins we are credited with for securing the future of the species, can now be purely obtained for pleasurable means.
Instead of these basic essentials, our now dull senses require a purpose and are then used to fulfill a previously secondary (and now primary) function. They are used to stimulate neurons in our brains that react to various states of mind related to the emotional spectrum (i.e. happiness) . Instead of operating as a necessity to thrive in an environment, they are now tools to enjoy such an environment. It’s like taking the world’s finest hunting knife and turning it into a musical flute (unless you’re tommy, the green ranger, in that case you’re fucking badass).
Since we are a society that derives a magnitude of worth in value, there is an exponential positive correlation between how much we indulge in the positive end of these secondary sense functions and the quality of life we have. We deem that the further we are from using these senses as nature intended, the ‘richer’ we are as a society.
One great quote I heard when I was a lil younger was (and I paraphrase)
“Being Civilized means doing natural things in an unnatural manner“
A simple example of this is food. No longer are the majority of carnivores involved in the visual hunting, killing and preparation of their food, it simply is there, all pre-prepared and packaged with no correlation between the animal and the food. This is so we can actively enjoy both in a mutually exclusive manner. Worst of all, we consume this food with a ‘fork’. This is almost the epitome of being rich and civilized. And you wonder why some kids ask their parents where chicken nuggets come from, surely not from baby wubbles, surely not…
But the relinqueshing of our primary sense requirements (even taking into account the dulling of them) does have some benefits
We no longer our bound to simply see things, we can created wonders to look at and observe. We are no longer bound to simply hearing things, we can create wonders to listen to and converse to dissect them and share thoughts. We are no longer bound to simply smelling, we can create wonderful fragrances to divulge in. Or negate natural odours to enhance an environment. We are no longer bound to simply feeling, we can create wondeful fabrics and textures to caress our bodies. We no longer purely eat as a form of substinence. and I’ll get onto this one shortly (and spiderman is still screwed with his spidersense, take that tosser).
Our senses are now ours to divulge into, purely because we can.
Now the sense of taste is a remarkable one because there are two things operating in unison (as with any sense), there is the initial reaction from the taste itself as a stimulus on the tongue and there is also the fulfilment we achieve by quenching our desire to be hungry. As a civilisation, we deal with this in two separate forms
The food that we have has become far less bland. The taste experience is ultimately what guides the majority of our food purchasing choices. We no longer go out to dinner specifically to obtain the necessary calories and vitamins needed to survive, but as a dining culinary experience. High end chefs dedicate many years of their lives and copious hours with their loved ones to bring you truly remarkable tastes experiences. And if you have the audacity to return your apparently undercooked meal, they will also happily piss all over it at no extra charge.
But then you have those who wish to indulge in that rush we get when we are rewarded with being full. Don’t get me wrong, there is something quite satisfying about being full, the majority of it experience this during Christmas day whe copious amonts of food is prepared and is rarely polished, with everyone slouched on the table with the belts loosened and grandad paul wipped out with his cap over his face. Even Snuffles is feeling the effect (poor kitty). Infact the whole diet industry expects you to over indulge during the holidays and spurs you on in january to lose this as one of your new year resolutions.
However, biblically, eating to overconsumption is considered a sin, A deadly sin even, one of the big 7.
You see, the notion of eating passed necessary capacity is something that is associated with the wealthy, especially when we live in a global society where people are not only eating for their primary survival purpose but sometimes go without food at all. The food produced in the UK, Europe and US is enoug to feed the entire world 7 TIMES OVER daily, that’s enough to sustain everyone on the planet, however the majority of this goes to waste.
This comes down to quality, alot of supermarkets end up overstocking food or fresh products so it goes to waste. The same goes for fast food organisations whom are unable to leave food out for a period of time, so it can’t be sold and must be thrown out. The quality control of high end restaurants is also quite severe with some providing a high degree of waste or not even a small amount of one ingredient and throwing the rest away to create ‘perfection’. I won’t even go into what percentage of pork, fish, beef and chicken we actually consume as a society from the carcuss. It’s quite funny, I always hear arguments on how grind and conecting tissue goes into our sausages and bacon. While a sausage shouldn’t be undersold for what it is, I don’t think its bad to use as much of the animal as possible. I’ve come from a culture where everything is eaten, you’ll scream if you saw a chicken foot or head come on a plate but I know alot of people who would ordered them specifically. Personally, i’ve got a soft spot for cowleg and kidney and I love tripe. Like with most things, I presume it’s about what you grow up with and how a dish is prepared that makes you enjoy it or not.
If you are generally interested in the concept of wasting food, then I would urge you to pick up this book below, if it stops and makes one person think, it’s done its job
But as it stands, the developed world is all guilty of gluttony and it’s something we have to seriously do something about, as consumers, as producers, as suppliers, as faceless corporations, as human beings. It’s just not right.
While I’ve taken quite the scenic route to get here, I can now actually start my topic. This is more about glutonny of the individual. Now I’m going to spare you the details on my thoughts of what it means to be obese and exist in a society. I come from a line of thinkers that believe that if you wish to adhere to a communal health service, you need to adhere to a communal health guildeline. However you do find the most vulnerable are the ones in need of the majority of the services, even if their ailments are somewhat self invoked. It’s a swings and roundabout thing and I could talk about it all day. So I’ll fence it.
I’m here to talk about those who partake as Glutonny as not only a status symbol but as part of a competitive nature. Human kind has always liked to overcome challenges. I mean one of my favourite latin quotes is:
Durius, Melius, Celerius, Fortius
The cunning linguists amongst you will realise this is Darth Punk’s strong ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ and it pretty much sums up are atitiude of a civilization. Everything is out there to conquer even food. ( EDIT: in hindsight of writing this, I sooo should have gone with Vedi Vini Vicci but screw it, I love daft punk)
It seemed the Americans started this tradition of eating competitively, with pie eating contests and now their world famous July 4th hotdog contest where some of the world’s most incredible Athlethes (ahahahahaha) line up to ….well…see how many hotdogs they can eat. Pure madness but highly entertaining. For some reason even when it it a task that revolves around something as grotesque as overweight men stuffing themselves an inch closer to their own demise’s, there is some sense of achievement for those who manage to come out on top. It’s made even worse if the winner happens to be a bread bun dunking, six pack waving japanese man, MMM i do love Kobayashi….mmmm. I know he’s doing it for Hiroshima, hitting back at the Yanks where it hurts most, almost makes me tear up thinking about it.
Now competive eating like this that has no ending, is one thing but it ultimately is still multiple people competing against each other. The real challenge comes when there is nothing but you and the food locked in a constant battle. You are faced with an impossible food challenge infront of you (and the odd time limit) and you just have to get in there and show that sunnova bitch who’s bos . This is when it only becomes a pure battle between Man and Food.
Heh, it almost sounds like a fantastic show concept, having guys travel around the world to take part in various food challenges in the ultimate show off of mind (and tongue and jaw) over matter. Wouldn’t it. Oh crumbs, it looks like the TRAVEL Channel have gone and done just that.
The premise of this show is incredibly simple. The host Adam richman travels to some of the least exotic places in america and try out diners renouned for their food. Most food shows these days tend to go for the higher end market reviews while this show appeals to the blue collar average joe. But these diners tend to hold a good customer review basis, based on service, quality and of course their food.
While they aren’t necessarily the healthiest foods, the show gives us the belief that its foods like this that the foundations of the U S and A were built on. They are the cornerstone fuel of the members of the strongest economy on the planet. It’s just coincidental that there isn’t a salad in sight and the US has the fastest growing obesity rate as well. Purely.
So at these establishments, the chefs/owners generally come up with a speciality dish, which is given honourary status to anyone who finishes it (via a pic on the hall of fame board). To those who don’t you either get shamed on the wall of shame (nicely named, these people are genii).
So Adam then tests his eating prowess on a different challenge everyweek. The best of which I think is highlighted below, not because it is a quantity challenge but something far far worse. It’s a twist on the normal premise but it shows just how crazy some of these challenges are
That was mental, but I wold like to try it. Apart from that that, out of all the challenges I’ve seen him do (or perhaps the only one i could get a picture of, jury is out) The challenge i’d like to do the most is the Eagle’s Deli 5Lb Burger in Boston (that’s 20 quarter pounders folks). The Godzilla i think is optional but i’d down it as well because i’m just that badass.
Anyway I find this entire thing about competitive eating to be completely respulsive and you certainly wouldn’t catch me doing it. I’m far too intelligent for that.
While I may be going on about how atrocious of this, I’m actually incredibly jealous, I absolutely love my food and love the feeling of clearing a plate. I even limit my eating to once a day so I can have one massive meal and take in all 2,500 joyous daily calories in one go. The worst thing about it is that I reckon I could take on most of the Challenges that he’s done, and the BASTARD is getting paid for this. He literally has a dream job of travelling (albeit it’s across dirt holes in the United states but still) and getting to eat copious amounts of food.
The only problem is that he doesn’t do man any justice, at the moment his record stands atonly 37 wins in 59 challanges. And for some reason all the wons I watch always have him failing incredibly. This does nothing for my jealousy whatsover but I’ve just realised that it may all be acunning advertising ploy for fucktards like myself who scream ‘I could do that’ to travel to these venues and spend stupid amounts of money on meals that will give us cue-cutting tickets to our own deaths, all to make it onto some ditsy wall of fame. As stupid as it sounds it doesn’t put me off. it SPURS ME like a spartan warrior who’s profession is sphincter stretching (awoooo awooooo awoooo)
The show itself may be quite a simple premise with what feels like a lot of filler material between Adam getting his location, finding out his challenge and turning into an ass hat while he fails miserably and I scream at the TV, but it’s entertaining stuff. I could watch a whole series of it quite contemptly while my stomach rumbles incredibly in jealousy.
I suppose there is nothing quite like getting stuffed, even though it generally sends a bad message rippling through society. We no longer live in a moderating world (unless you are on a Tru Blood message board, the mods on there are evil TWILIGHT LOVING mother fuck ups that ban you for the smallest things) so people need to know that living on a diet of gluttony and unhealthy foods is going to put you in a grave faster than a sleeping pill from Michael jackson’s personal doctor.
I would just wish for a society that could have all aspects of food respect and eating entertainment living in unison. But that means that teh majorityo f the world goes without being hungry and that the west learns not to waste, and also to not indulge in haste but that needs a re-education of society and a indifference in organisations to exploit those most vulnerable.
In any case, I hope this entry if anything manages to provide you with some food for thought. Bon Apetit.
I’m off for a strawberry, but not any ordinary strawberry, it’s an M and S strawberry and I’m going to have a fucking shitload of em. Take that toilet bowl, take that…