Friday, May 25, 2012


As I drove past a local bakery today, I noticed that their sign said "We sell happiness".  Hmmm.  My initial reaction to this was one of disgust.  Of course that was largely based on my life long struggle with sugar.  Then I pondered this some more.

First, there's the fact that sugar does cause "happiness".  It increases the feel good chemicals in your brain to cause a temporary high.  Then I thought about the large number of happy events that involve treats from the bakery.  Birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, Mother's Day, Father's Day......the list is endless.

This train of thought led to the southern (or perhaps even other areas of the country?) tradition of taking food to a family when there is a death.  Of course there is a practical reason for this; we don't want the family of the deceased to have to worry about the necessary tasks of life like cooking while they are in the midst of grieving.  On the other hand, this is the perfect example of comfort food.  Literally.  What do we take to grieving families?  Casseroles.  Pies.  Cakes.  Fried chicken.  Macaroni & cheese.  Does anyone take veggies?  Fruit?  Grilled chicken, perhaps.  Not really.

Does food bring happiness?  Yes.  Should it?  There's nothing wrong with enjoying food.  The problem begins when you're expecting food to do things that people should do rather than simply provide nourishment.  Like providing happiness and love.  Or perhaps expecting it to provide comfort and peace when God or a loved one should do that.

What are your thoughts?  Am I overanalyzing?

1 comment:

  1. I have such a hard time with this as well. I think I first had experience that were happy that had a lot of sugar. I am not exactly sure when I equated sugar with love/happiness but after the switch was flipped I manufacture happiness with sugar. I would make treats so people would like me. I would buy people birthday cake so they would feel special ( I just wanted to eat cake.) After I stopped eating sugar everyone at my work kept asking Don't you love us anymore? We need your special cookies. I remember saying to one of my coworkers If I was an alcoholic in recovery do you think everyone would be asking me to bring in that special beer I used to make. He said if it made us feel as special as those cookies did we would. So I had my answer.