I don’t know what to call it but I can’t call it food

December 11, 2014 by Joshua
in Fitness, Nature, Tips

EDIT: since writing this post I came up with the term doof, which I describe in this podcast episode:

I recommend never calling doof food or food doof. Here’s the original post:

Did you know antifreeze tastes sweet? It will also kill you if you drink it. Laws require putting something in it to taste bitter because its sweetness leads kids, dogs, cats, and other pets to drink it.

Like all poisons, the dosage determines its effects. According to Wikipedia,

“The dose makes the poison” is common adage first expressed by Paracelsus intended to indicate a basic principle of toxicology. It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration (dose).

Something can be sweet or taste good and not kill you in small doses and still be poisonous. Just because antifreeze tastes good doesn’t make it food. As far as I know, even doses too small to kill you aren’t healthy.

There are a lot of products on supermarket shelves that taste good but are unhealthy. Could be a mistake to call them food, even to call them junk food? Just because something tastes good and doesn’t kill me in the packaged dose doesn’t mean it’s food, in my opinion, any more than antifreeze is. Antifreeze may have a smaller lethal dose than chips, soda, Twinkies, and corn syrup, and maybe I wouldn’t call them outright poisons, but I can’t call them food. I’m not saying what anyone else should call them, only that they seem increasingly less like food to me.

If anything, I see them as a form of entertainment for the mouth that comes at the cost of your health. You can point out that people can eat modest amounts of junk their whole lives without dying. Even so, they seem less and less like food in my opinion, and the more I look at them like chemical concoctions, the less appetizing they look and the less willpower it takes to avoid them.

I recommend mentally separating things-that-taste-good-but-you-don’t-want-to-eat, like soda and antifreeze, from the category of food and see if it doesn’t become easier to avoid them.

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