A few weeks ago, I read an article on how snack manufacturers prey upon weakness of consumers to get them to consume more of their snack items. One quote from an observer of the industry jumped off the page to me and sounded alarm bells. Sorry, I lost track of the article and don’t have a link to share with you, but he was quoted as saying that three ingredients–sugar, fat and salt–laden in food, make people want to eat more of them.
Anyone who dives into the cookies, cake, candy, dessert muffins, or ice cream with gusto knows all about the sugar attraction. Consuming salty chips and crackers seem to bring that irresistible, “Hmmm…these taste good. I’ll eat just one more…and one more…and, oh look at that, the bag is empty!” LOL
Well, as it turns out, this seeming insatiable desire for more is not as innocent as it appears. It doesn’t “just happen.” There is a lot of thought behind it. Food scientists, chemists and producers of these snack items spend large amounts of time, money and effort to create it.
When you buy a package of food in the grocery store you’re buying a package of thought, essentially, from a mortal and relative point of view. The question begs an answer, “What kind of thoughts am I purchasing here and preparing to consume?”
On the other hand, Jesus Christ taught us to “Take no thought for what you eat.”
So what gives?
Do we ignore what we consume? Is that what Jesus meant? Or do we need to understand the context and times of his statement to make sense of it?
In Jesus’ time, there wasn’t a large amount of energy, time and effort put into the production and creation of food items like there is today. Oh, I suppose there was in some cases, like in the King’s palace. We have the story of Daniel who refused the King’s gourmet food preferring simple pulse. And in the end of the story, Daniel and his faithful buddies were much healthier than their counterparts eating the delicacies and carefully crafted foodstuffs cooked by the palace chefs. But by and large the general population ate pretty simple food. There wasn’t much to take thought for.
Today, it’s a whole lot different! We have 50,000 items to choose from in the grocery store. Someone is putting a lot of thought into what we eat. And, to be honest, many of us probably put a lot of thought into what we consume.
Anyway, after I read this article, I wondered, “Do I need to be more aware of the huge effort going on behind the scenes in the manufacture of food that is perhaps working against my efforts to demonstrate dominion over the body and appetite in my life?” Specifically, in efforts to control my mind and make me consume items that I would not consume, at least in large quantity, if I was making decisions free of the outside mental influence?
Two days ago, I was driving down highway 101 in Northern California, and a big billboard for McDonald’s French fries blazoned the message, “Gotta have em,” with a hand reaching for yellow fried potatoes neatly tucked in a cardboard container.
Now isn’t that exactly what the expert above was talking about? McDonald’s is specifically advertising the message that we consumers cannot resist the temptation to eat their French fries. We “Gotta have em!”
So, all these packaged snack foods that look utterly harmless are not so innocently packaged. Consumer beware!
I will still eat chips and crackers and cookies and ice cream on occasion, and in moderation, as I’ve always endeavored to do. I don’t think that’s a horrible evil. But I’m much more aware now of counter-acting any suggestion of losing control while eating them. If I do, I’m under the influence of the marketers, and that’s not dominion! Exercising dominion is a good thing. It retains control over the body and keeps mortal mind out of the loop of decision-making.
So, next time you feel like you just “Gotta have em,” with any type of snack food, stop a minute, and first pray to get dominion back over your thinking. Make decisions that lead to responsible actions, and the outcome will be much better.