Fair warning. This post is going to be blunt.
You’re a drug addict. And so am I.
Any time we ‘enhance’ food to make it taste better, we’re doing so to get a little higher than we would’ve otherwise.
If, on the other hand, you’re someone who goes to the grocery store, buys a cucumber, and eats it as is, without any slicing, dicing, dressing, spicing and/or combining, well then, you’re a super minority. So too if, in a restaurant, you order what is most nutritionally sound with little regard for taste.
Most modern world human interaction with food is taste-based, and while our ability to taste may have evolved as an information gathering tool (i.e. what is edible, non-edible, rotten, fresh etc.), it exists today almost solely as a pleasure-gathering one. Whenever possible we go for what will taste best to us, what we feel like, at any given time.
The problem that exists for our species is that the technology surrounding food (flavor enhancement, ingredient manipulation/refining, cooking techniques such as deep frying), and its increasing availability and accessibility (food subsidies and the like), enables us to have the very best tasting food available to us almost whenever we want it.
This puts us in a tough spot on the health front, and I would argue on the happiness front as well. We are delivered what is essentially a drug that is disguised as a necessity. Yes, of course we need to eat, but the amount of drug-like “food” in the average human’s diet is excessive. It would be somewhat like drinking alcohol throughout the day because we need to drink, when (hopefully) obviously alcohol clearly isn’t a health-inducing solution to this need.
So, where do French fries come into the picture?
I love them. I love French fries. Fries are next level, and the very drug-like food I mentioned above. But I know this, and as a result I limit them. I relegate them to a now and then. Let’s just say I keep my distance, and only seldomly allow them to come by for a visit. Let’s just say we have an understanding.
The hard truth about healthy eating is that while the more natural, less refined, less technological/engineered foods can be delicious, they will never compare to the drug-like foods, and we thrive when we accept this fact rather than fight it. We thrive when we surround ourselves most of the time with healthy foods that we love but don’t French fry love, and over time we become totally fine with this. Why? Because the healthy foods we love are good enough. Not only are they enjoyable while we consume them, they deliver health and vibrancy well beyond the time it takes us to eat the meal itself.
Drug-foods are temporary, artificial, fleeting, and in significant amounts, damage our quality of life. Healthy foods are long-lasting, real, and in significant amounts, improve our quality of life.
The question to ask yourself is this: is the food I eat, in general, good enough, or do I absolutely have to French fry love the food I eat every time I sit down to eat it?