Friday, 5 November 2010

An experiment around food

So, here's something to try if you want to explore and perhaps challenge the food scripts instilled in you by your parents, and your own feelings around food.  Go to your cupboard or fridge and throw out some food!

Stop reading now and go do it.

Yes, really, right now, throw something out.

Don't read the rest of this post until food that was in your pantry, fridge or cupboard is in the bin.

So, how did that feel?  Was it difficult or easy?  Did you manage it at all?  And if so, what did you throw out?  Was it something that was past its sell by date anyway?  Something you don't really like?  Or was it an item you would have liked to eat?  Even a treat you'd been saving?

And what thoughts did you have when you threw it out?  How did it feel?

When I was given this exercise, I managed to "forget" it until I was in bed.  I was tempted to just say, "oh well, some other time".  But instead I got up, went to the kitchen, and headed for the chocolate drawer.  Already it would be valid to ask, what does it say about me that I have a chocolate drawer?

In any case, not only did I throw away some chocolate that had been sitting in the cupboard for a few months, too good to chuck, but not really much enjoyed by anyone in the house, but I also threw away two types of chocolate biscuit that I had bought just a few days before, that are personal favourites.  I wanted to see what it would feel like.  Perhaps, though, having a chocolate drawer that still wasn't empty, it was less effective than it could have been - I knew I wouldn't be completely deprived.  But it did make me think about my shopping habits, and the fact that I had walked 20 minutes to a particular shop for those biscuits, without really needing anything else from there.  And I did have a little pang, thinking "now I'll have to make another excursion".

For me, then, this wasn't so much about the money spent or wasted, or a feeling of dishonouring those who don't have food available in this way - both very valid thoughts.  Instead, there was a recognition of the energy I'm willing to put into having "special" treats, and how picky I am about what those are.  Not that they are necessarily the most expensive or "best", but they are the ones I like the best, right now.  It also made me think about the fact that what my favourite treat is changes quite regularly.  Which I think is kind of good - not like many children who are neophobic (just imagine, the psychologists have come up with a special word to say kids don't like trying new things!)

So, what was your experience?  And what do you think it says about you and your relationship to food, or about your values generally?  Hope you'll give it a try, and share how it goes!

Image: Page of Swords from the Tarot of the Twilight Realm.


  1. I will be found murdered in a shallow grave if I fling out good food!

    I'll need to wait until Tertarus goes back to sea on Monday!

    Ali x

  2. Hi Ali,

    Well, given you don't even throw out bad food... ;-D

    Still, so long as it's not a pastry Sonshine is emotionally attached to, it might be interesting to give it a try. I'll look forward to hearing how it goes :-)
    Chloe x