To my knowledge, nobody has written about the Philosophy of food, in a manner which I find rigorous. Also, talking about food in a more practical and empirical way, rather than thinking about politics, global warming, “animal rights”, etc.
What should food do?
The first philosophical question we must ask is the purpose of food. That is, what should food do?
The best definition of super food that I read, was on the back of an Icelandic fish jerky that was given to me by my friend Chris Chung, which defines super food as “food which aid in muscle building“. Therefore, my first simple thought: is the food does not aid in building your muscle, it is not necessary.
Why do they say this food is good for you?
Now that I have a parent and I have a kid, I am becoming even more critical of food. The traditional advice regarding the food of children is this, have a balanced diet, slowly introduce dairy and eggs, and make sure to have enough fruit, vegetables, greens, etc. Slowly introduce all allergens and food intolerances to kids early, in order that they may not have any food intolerances as they grow older.
But my skeptical side says, how much of this is just indoctrination from corporations which sell dairy products, grain products, serial products, etc.?
The first keto baby
I don’t like talking about keto, or the “ketogenic diet”, because this is just becoming another marketing thing. For example, in order to not show sugar on the nutritional value at the back of the food product, a lot of the sneaky corporations are putting an artificial sweeteners which has 0 cal, but still do induce a sweet insulin response in your body. Or using nonsensical notions of net carbs, by subtracting the fiber content of food items from the carbohydrate count, therefore lowering the carbohydrate count.
What food would a Greek demigod consume?
My personal pride as a parent is giving foods to Seneca which I believe will aid in his muscle growth. For example, steak, tendon, beef ribs, and his favorite— bone marrow. Even in the book the Iliad by homer, it is mentioned how either Hector or Achilles was fed bone marrow as a child, which made them big and strong.
Kids eat what the parents eat
Another thing I have observed is that when you look at the food and dietary habits of kids, it often reflects the parents. Why is that? Simple: much more convenient and easy to feed the kids what you are eating, then prepare the kids their own meal.
Also, no parent likes to think that they are giving their kid bad food. Therefore, perhaps they trick themselves into thinking that the food is actually not that bad. That a “balanced diet“, is necessary for kids. Or the nonsensical notion that kids do not get fat. I actually feel really bad when I see obese children, because it is not their fault. They don’t know any better.
Who or what is to blame?
If somebody is addicted to cocaine or heroin, it is not necessary their “fault“. I actually met a guy at the gym named Jesse, who lost almost over 100 pounds by working out at the gym, and he told me that being fat is like a mental disease. That you literally have no control over yourself.
Therefore, in someways food can be a drug. If you’re addicted to eating pastries, ice cream, or other high sugar or carb foods, your brain creates some sort of feedback loop in which you get addicted to these things. A lot of the artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners, and starchy foods of modern day times is very addictive, and once you get exposed to it, you become hooked.
How to break the feedback loop
When I was a kid, and my mom became so busy with work that she was no longer able to cook me food, and would buy me a frozen microwavable Costco food instead, I got really fat as a kid. I remember being around 11 years old, with a double chin, and not able to sleep through the humid New York Summers because my double chin would stick to itself. I remember putting on baby oil or Vaseline under my double chin, in order to fall asleep.
Then, I finally got fed up with being teased, and I wanted to become stronger and buffer than all the other kids at my school, so nobody could tease me anymore. This is what got me into working out as a kid, and I have not stopped ever since.
Teasing doesn’t feel good as a kid, but sometimes it is affective I suppose. if you are the only fat kid at school, and everybody teases you, it could give you the opportunity to try to become non-fat. Or it may actually cause you to become more fat, because you try to overcome your pain in your shame by eating more foods, which bring you pleasure. It could go either way.
However, if all of your friends are fat, and all the kids at school are fat, then technically it becomes the new norm, and nobody will tease One another. And as a norm, all the kids are overfat, without any recompense.
Buddy composition is a personal thing
I like the idea that no matter what, you have the power in the control to shape and mold your body however you would like. For example, I do not desire a society in which you are somehow penalized for being overfat. The same notion is also not being penalized for having high muscle mass and low body fat.
And every individual has the right to their own body, and should also have the right to consume whatever they want, and not consume what they do not want.
I wonder if in the future, there should be warning signs on foods just like cigarettes, that this product may create addiction.
A Chinese medicine, Asian notion of food is not necessarily based on whether it is healthier unhealthy, but whether it aids in digestion or not. For example, even in Korean, a common greeting is asking the other person: how is your digestion?
It also seems apt to consider that everyone’s body is different. For example, Asian people typically do not tolerate dairy as well as Caucasian people, because there is less genetic exposure to it. Also, many east Asians experience Asian flush, which is an intolerance to alcohol, compared with many Europeans who do not have this. it seems that with alcohol tolerance, the strongest drinkers seem to be either Russian, German, or Irish. As a whole, Asian people typically do not have as high tolerance as a lot of their European counterparts, yet, certainly there are some outliers I’m sure in which some of the greatest drinkers are in fact Asian.
Therefore, maybe we should start thinking about food and digestion. Everyone says that fruit, vegetables, and fiber is good for digestion, but is this really true? I am skeptical. I only think the reason people think it is good for your digestion is from a basic perspective it makes sense: fiber is like sandpaper, which scrapes the inside of your intestines, to aid in digestion. But what if you have an intolerance to gluten, or other wheat products? Then consuming whole grain bread, or whole-grain products may cause you constipation and incontinence.
Also, traditionally Asian people say that eating red meat, beef, and animal products is bad for your digestion. But is this true? I am also very skeptical. I actually think that a lot of east Asian philosophies on food is more from poverty farmer mindset. That the average person wasn’t rich enough to eat beef on a regular basis, and therefore they would trick themselves and their kids and their families to think that having a “balanced diet“, was better for them.
New Age philosophies on food
The new age philosophy regarding food is this: eating animal products is bad, and eating plant-based foods superior. Hidden in this is a lot of ethical notions regarding sustainability, animal rights, global warming, etc.
But once again, ethics is not scientific. Also, with environmental things, I feel like I am the only intelligent person who I know who is more skeptical than the average person. It is certain that humans are changing the environment in the planet, but how much? and to what extent, and whether humans have the capacity to create “earth death“.
I personally believe that the earth is actually more robust than we think. Do you remember when the movie an inconvenient truth came out, people seem to be certain that the world was going to end in 10 or 20 years from now? Well, around 20 years has a lapse, and the earth is still here. The truth I have observed is in the lotta developing countries, it is becoming a lot more polluted in a bad way. For example, uncertaindays and Hanoi the Air was unreadable, and caused me to cough. This is very bad. And I am very grateful that California has such strict emissions controls, because Los Angeles is less polluted than it used to be.
One realistic idea that I have is that in the future, the earth will exist for a very very long time, let us say at least 100,000 years from now. But what will happen is that all the pollution of the earth and the trash of the earth will be concentrated in poor communities and countries, and the rich and privileged countries will be able to enjoy fresh air and nature.
Just experiment for yourself
I am the only person that I personally know, at least I’ve witnessed in real life, who has been able to dead lift over 400 pounds without a belt strap, and also while I fasted. Also, I might be the only person I know who’s been able to deadlift 475 pounds without consuming protein powder, creatine, steroids and artificial human growth hormones, and also while fasted. Also, without eating any carbs of any sort.
Whenever I suspect some piece of knowledge is in accurate, I just experiment for myself. For example, it seems that people always say that in order to build muscle, you need to eat carbs of some sort. But, over the last five years or so, I have sworn off all bread, rice, and other non-meat items. The only things I consume include meat, eggs, and bitter greens like spinach or kale. Through my self experimentation, I discovered that even eating starchy vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli made me fat, and therefore I swear those off as well. Also, nuts and almonds, made me fat, so I have sworn them off as well.
My take away is this: create your own philosophy of food, experiment with yourself, and share your findings with others.