On not snacking

I shouldn’t do it. I shouldn’t even write about it. I shouldn’t watch cooking shows. I shouldn’t own cookbooks, go to grocery stores, check ads in the paper, watch commercials on television, or fantasize about the next cake or pie I’m going to bake. I have enough food at the two meals a day that I eat. (Breakfast is a mess for me because one, I’m not hungry in the morning, and two, eggs make me sick, so no breakfast.) My metabolism has slowed over the last decade and every snack that I eat goes to live on my waste. The sad truth is that when I get the munchies, I just have to endure otherwise I would be the size of the Goodyear blimp. Snacks are not, in and of themselves, evil, it is only snackers, those partaking of snacks who are evil or who have evil in their hearts. Whether it is pizza or cookies, cereal or chocolate cake, snacks are everywhere in our society, and at least three-quarters of the fast food industry is based on snacks–burgers, chicken, tacos, pasta, ribs, pizza–not a stand-up square meal. Fast food joints may offer salads and fruit, a fish sandwich, vegan dishes and the like, but people, most people, go for the snack food. What is so sinister about snacks is that they are, by their very nature, temptation unleashed. Juicy, salty, fatty, sweet, they appeal to our basest desires to sate our darkest desires even when we have no need–none whatsoever. We are, for the most part, a well-fed society. A good majority of us have more than enough food every day. The fact that our food supply is so overwhelmingly prevalent and accessible stands in dark contrast to how the rest of the world lives, or not. We overeat at every turn, and we still snack. Go to the movies and watch people buy their popcorn, candy, and soda just after they have had a meal. They probably just ate at home just before they came to the movie theater. At home, we stock the larder with all kinds of snacks–cookies, crackers, pretzels, pizza, nuggets, chocolate, cereal, pizza, ice cream, candy, and I haven’t even mentioned all the leftovers in the fridge upon which we might graze–hot dogs, hamburgers, meatballs, mashed potatoes, pork chops, steak, lasagna. Don’t get me wrong, I love to snack as much as the next guy, maybe more in fact. I love to stay up late and eat potato chips, really salty, really crunchy. Maybe the all-time best snack every, a little salty, sweet, crunchy, freshly made caramel corn. Not the stuff you buy in the store, but the stuff you pop yourself and mix with your own homemade caramel sauce. Temptation never had it so easy. I guess the problem with snacks is that it is food we just don’t need to eat, but we can’t either stop or help ourselves. Doughnuts, who needs a doughnut? A triple white mocha with whipped cream and sprinkles? Pound cake with frosting? Muffins. Did anyone ever need to eat a muffin, or it’s weird and creepy doppleganger, the frosted cupcake. As a society we are considering legislation to limit the sale of super-sized soft drinks of 64 or more ounces because obesity is such a problem in America. I imagine this begs the question: is our own success killing us because we cannot control, on a personal level, the amount of food that we eat?