Why What We Eat Evolves

Posted on in Healthy Living by Zachary Feder

On Escaping Pain and Fueling Change One Bite at a Time


Food gives us life, and then one day we realize that it also offers us escape. When we suffer we eat, and when we eat, we fall asleep awake. Fine dining in the modern world isn’t simply a competition to create the most delectable dish but to design the most effective existential anesthetic. Isn’t ice cream just a “10-Minute Distraction from the Suffering of Life Milk Product,” a spicy tuna hand roll simply a “Forget Your Troubles for 30 Minutes Fish Wrap”? Do you remember the moment when taste, succulence, and texture became less important to you than the degree to which a meal could capture your attention and transport you into a dopamine-fueled bliss state?

When the ennui of life dawns on the unenlightened self, the logic of making every meal an escape suddenly becomes self-evident. Because god forbid I find myself experiencing a moment of neurochemical sobriety between my bruschetta buzz and the ego annihilation of my burger to realize that I’m attempting to fill the hole in my soul by stuffing the one in my face.

Yet so goes the journey—yearning day after day for more caloric luxury, more mouth-watering moments of ecstasy—until we become sick of the indigestion bouts and tired of the sugar spikes and decide that it’s time to free ourselves from food. So we slowly begin to increase the quality, subtlety, and purity of what we eat while decreasing the quantity and variety. Instead of gorging, we begin to fast, to try macrobiotic, vegetarian, vegan, raw. Little by little we begin to rehabilitate our palate so that one day, in a revelation on par with the grandest spiritual experience, we recognize that even a single leaf of lettuce is exquisite.

But the journey is not necessarily selfevident and for most of us involves moving through several stages. Here are four of the main ones that can help you determine if you’re overdue for an upgrade.

Toxic Food

Championed by every gas station and convenience store selling products in off-gassing cellophane and tarred with preservatives to outlast uranium, “toxic foods” are temples of high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and monosodium glutamate. These unperishables include every candy bar, soft drink, cereal, and bag of cheesy poofs in luminescent colors you’d expect to find in toxic waste. If some of your diet consists of “the Toxic,” you’re the part of humanity that will either mutate to become the first generation of X-Men or whose genetic line will be eradicated.

Unconscious Food

Found at every deli, chain restaurant, diner, and supermarket that cuts corners to provide you the cheapest sustenance, “Unconscious Food” has substandard nutritional value that’s conveniently imperceptible to the average consumer. It may look wholesome but rest assured that you’re likely being served misidentified fish laden with heavy metals, vegetables saturated with pesticides, and industrially farmed meats from traumatized livestock. Hiding in plain sight, these seemingly innocuous emporiums can be identified by their enthusiastic declarations of “natural,” “fresh,” and “healthy.”

Conscious Food

When you eat consciously, you’re shopping organically, locally, and ethically with the bag that your mom got when the co-op opened in 1973. Your fish is wild, your water pure, your vegetables lush, and your meat grass-fed and sprinkled with fairy dust. Now sugar is your nemesis. Gluten your kryptonite. Trans fat your al Qaeda. Sure, you get laughed at by your biochemically oblivious friends , but you can console yourself with the fact that you don’t have leaky gut and an anger issue. When you go conscious, there’s no going back. You’d now rather go hungry than fill your body temple with crap just to save a buck. Your greatest discovery from going nutrient dense? You end up eating not more, but less.

Vibrant Food

When you take the leap to eating vibrantly, your junk food becomes cacao and goji berries dipped in unicorn tears, your condiments include gourmet sea salt dried on the crown chakras of ascended masters, your desserts are now sweetened with honey infused with royal jelly wrenched from the panties of only the most fertile queen bees. You’re consuming neurologically protective oils and algae, gut biome–balancing pickled sea vegetables, and anti-inflammatory herbs and elixirs. You juice with religious fervor. Fruit is dehydrated on sight. Even the idea of using your placenta to make a stem cell–producing minestrone isn’t out of the question. At the vibrant stage, you’re not a foodie so much as a modern-day druid on homeopathic steroids.

But Why Should I Eat Better?

When you eat poorly, you’re dim-witted, sluggish to revolt, fearful to rebel and stand up for what you believe in. You’re literally fueling your subservience to the leviathan consumer industry. Conversely, when you take on the burden of eating consciously and endorse businesses pioneering a healthy food alternative, you’re not only buttressing your energy, supporting the balance of your brain chemistry, and improving your hiring potential, you’re lobbying for a whole host of preventable, manmade illnesses to be eliminated, and for Mother Nature to be finally included in the women’s liberation movement.

Above all, you’re powering your courage and determination so that you can meet the injustice and unconsciousness of the world day after agonizing day with your eyes wide open and your heart on fire. Healthy food isn’t just the breakfast of champions, it’s the breakfast of revolutionaries. And in case you didn’t notice, we’re in the middle of one, and the front line is the cash register. So whether you want to change government policy, live your dreams more boldly, or hope to experience nonduality more quickly, the quality of your consumption—on all levels—is essential to the degree of life that you bring to the party. This is why every time you put something in your mouth, you’re not just making a choice for your body, you’re making it for humanity.

Zachary Feder is a personal and business development consultant specializing in high performance and the resolution of unconscious trauma. He has been regularly eating food for almost 40 years and can be reached at ZacharyFeder.com.

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