Switching to the pump
I fill up my car. Do I need to ask myself if I’m putting in too much gas or not enough? Not. I am waiting for the sound click signaling the interruption of the stream. The car is full. It consumes its full according to a rather stable mechanical ‘physiology’. The visit to the pump is a very mechanical operation.
For the human organism, ‘refueling’ does not require deeper reflection on most occasions. The power supply is almost mechanical. My hands grab the victuals, throw them into the shopping cart, store, prepare, empty the plate, catch what is lying on the table. I can eat without really thinking about how I do it. Feeding is implicit.
From implicit to explicit
Asking questions awakens explicit nutrition. The most common cause is not to have opened a magazine but that the implicit feeding remains dissatisfied. Being hungry. It is still a widespread human condition. When you undergo it, choosing your food is not topical, you have to find it. The brain returns to its fundamentals. Evolution has given us this organ to appropriate food “stations”. Track the edible!
Fasting is reputed, rightly, to sharpen the mind. Mental knives sharpen, squeak in anticipation. How to find your pittance at all costs? Even the intellectual who fills his fridge with a credit card knows that it is better not to stuff himself to keep his mind sharp. His brain is still, fundamentally, that of a hunter-gatherer, who is active in the decline of carbohydrate reserves rather than their acme.
In the West, however, the hunter has been laying his bow for some time now. His pantry is only empty when he neglects to fill it. Worse, he continually comes across tempting proposals. Outside, the pebbles of the path are replaced by hamburgers. Sugar fountains are installed at each crossroads. The implicit feeding is no longer regulated by appetite but by the plethora, distortion of this instinct that pushed, at the fierce ages, to stuff oneself at every favorable opportunity.
The plethora turns the body itself into a storage room. Fat cells pile up, tidy. Small boxes that rarely die. It takes 8 years for them to be replaced. Renewal as slow as for the bone, that is to say if their desire to exist, to structure us, is tenacious! If we do not keep them full, once multiplied, they cry famine. The obese who seeks to lose weight quickly thus experiences unbearable feelings of lack. His cerebral automatisms take over. Paradoxical bulimia.
Prerequisite to philosophize on food
The first diagnosis, by studying the relationship to food, is to classify the disorder in the implicit or explicit direction of this function. Even an obese person may, in a situation of unsatisfied implicit intakes, be unable to think explicitly. The information is known to him. He has a will. It simply has no power in the face of disappointed bodily impulses, which require the brain to abandon abstinence.
The philosophy of feeding, by analyzing its societal manipulations, is concerned with explicit direction. But it is very rare for explicit causality to be pure. Taking a culturally homogeneous population, we have genetically heterogeneous individuals. It is impossible to really isolate the explicit effects of the environment. We could choose a homogeneous sample in the implicit direction, that is, individuals ensuring their dietary needs without special effort. But as we analyze their divergences, how do we know where they start from with, already, this genetic diversity?