A thought provoking summary of some of the data surrounding food-induced behavior change, by Christina Pirello. In reading, it may be pertinent to consider the weighted influence of our misconstrued conceptual frameworks provoked by the word “diet” which, as Tony Wright claims, would be a word more accurately termed “highly advanced molecular engineering of the most complex and chemically sensitive thing we know”. But even that hardly does it any justice.
It’s a tragically comedic sign of the times to see everyone paying more care to their new [insert plastic piece of crap here] than the thing between their ears that’s involved in orchestrating their very perception and sense of self. Ironic that the basic engineering logic of build materials and fuel quality makes perfect sense when thinking about the functionality of our cars, but is a foreign concept to most people when applied to the brain. How much longer can our culture blindly go on assuming that what we build and fuel our neural system on is of no consequence to ourselves, our children, and future generations? The data is there but its hitting deaf ears. As with dementia patients, there is inevitably heavy psychological resistance to maintaining the accepted reality-tunnel.
I know; I know. It’s controversial. Some say crazy, but what if we could reduce crime and violence by simply changing cafeteria menus? A high school in Appleton, Wisconsin tried an experiment under the enlightened guidance of their principal, LuAnn Coenen. She wanted to see if she could positively affect the fighting, weapons-carrying and general lack of focus and discipline in the school by changing the food the kids ate. Vending machines were replaced with water coolers; hamburgers and French fries were taken off the menu and replaced with fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grain breads and a salad bar. With the departure of junk food, she also saw the departure of vandalism, litter and the need for police patrolling her hallways. The students were calm, socially engaged and focused on their schoolwork. Problems were minimal. And all Ms. Coenen did was change the menu.