Do we want excess?

excessive junk food

To be fair, I’d want some of this.

Over the years, fast food and sweet treats have gotten a bad reputation. Governments everywhere are trying to restrict the amount we can eat, and healthy eating activists want to get rid of them entirely. Why? Because we’re apparently too stupid to eat in moderation.

I think society has a very two-faced view when it comes to excess. On the one hand, we publicly condemn excess in any shape or form. But on the other hand, the media sends a different message, that excess is a good thing. In fact, plenty of famous rock stars and heavy metal musicians have indulged in some of the more notorious excesses – women, cocaine, and often alcohol – and yet we celebrate them, and often their excesses.

I must ask. Has excess become morally acceptable? Thankfully, it hasn’t quite yet, due partly to the recent financial crisis, in which the media has done a good job making wealth look bad.

In times of economic uncertainty, the less fortunate will undoubtedly be offended whenever they see or hear of excess, mainly because they cannot have it. If I were in that situation, I myself would be offended, but also incredibly envious, and in the case of Man v. Food, I’d be quite tantalized.

I’m not against fast food. I’ve always been an ardent defender of fast food, mainly because I didn’t like people trying to tell me what to eat. Besides, a single bacon-double cheeseburger as it is can still be good for you if it gets rid of your hunger for a while.

I think I understand what fast food is about. It’s about freedom of choice. If you choose you eat too much burgers, fries, pizzas and what have you, then the inevitable heart attacks are your own fault. I think there are two reasons why fast food has become a scapegoat for the obesity crisis.

  1. People aren’t eating in moderation (as in eating fast food sometimes but not all the time).
  2. Society, the media, and politicians like to attack the perceived cause of bad health so that people don’t have to take responsibility for their choices.

And you just know that politicians just want the latest excuse to decide “what’s best for us”. To them, the obesity crisis is a window of opportunity.

You know who else can benefit from the backlash against fast food? Vegans. Vegan organisations and animal rights groups like PETA want the world to be vegan because they think killing animals is wrong, and they think that as long as they can convince people that a meaty diet is unhealthy, then it helps their cause.

peta activists

Pictured: Pure bullcrap

I may have gone off topic for a while, but the bottom line is that the only real reason we’re trying to get rid of fast food is because most of us have an “all or nothing” mentality, as in they think they can’t have it if they can’t have it all. What we need is to let go of the “all or nothing” mentality and start living by the principles of moderation.

Back in the old days, we knew that too much fatty food wasn’t good for us, though a lot of us didn’t care. In fact, I’m willing to bet that some people did exercise moderation, just that later on, the media started convincing us that fast food was bad. If we start eating in moderating, and stop listening to the media trying to tell us what we can and can’t eat, we’ll be more responsible as human beings, and actually progress as a species.

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2 thoughts on “Do we want excess?

  1. Politicians back fast and junk foods as being the sole cause of obesity to avoid facing the actual cause of obesity: Processed foods are often cheaper than the once-common-placed-now-heavily-marketed organic foods.Due to soil depletion, mass-production, and the monopoly in the agricultural industry, nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to come by and often times eating them isn’t as filling as it is supposed to be. The result is to eat more and eat more of things that are filling. Attacking the food industry for producing crap would empty the pockets of many politicians. Ergo, obesity is caused by fast food.

    • Wow. I genuinely didn’t know about the “soil depletion” part of the story. The focus of this post is more about the whole thing against fast food affecting our free choice. I think we have the right to choose fast food, and I think we shouldn’t have to lose our fast food just because some of us got heart attacks.

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