In the south, food is a different thing. It’s not about high brow and eclectic taste as much as it is about food that produces a lethargic and catatonic state which reminds us of home. In the south, we eat big. We like food high in butter, sugar, and lard. It’s where the famous things are the Biscuit Lady from the Loveless, Fried and Hot chicken, and veggies that are limp and cooked with butter and ham. It’s classic American obese cooking and it’s so good. Soul Food is cooked with great love and leaves a person stagnant and lazy. In this state, one can explore their soul and reflect on how great it feels to have such goodness in your body. I don’t know what it is exactly, but southern food places the consumer in a state of soul enrichment… maybe it’s the way I was raised or the food I’m used to, but there’s just something about it.
I can think of experiences where diabetics will manipulate their insulin to eat whatever they want because they want their soul filled. They want the food that, somehow, redefines their reality and makes everything good… if only for a few minutes.
What does this food do to us to make us want to hurt ourselves more in order to consume it?
What is it about Soul Food that makes our lives seemingly different?
I’d submit a couple of possible answers… First, we are addicted. Both sugar and cheese cause addiction with people. Both are catastrophic to our health and both will kill us… yet they both pull us into a desire for more of each of them. Yes, there’s a literal chemical attraction to the Soul Food we desperately want. Second, we are trying to fill a void in our lives that break us away from reality and push us into good times and great feels of euphoric ecstasy. As I have typed about over and over again… food is a drug and Soul Food is the Meth of the food addiction world. Not only does it have addictive things in it, it also chemically changes our bodies to love it, and it fills us to the point of gluttony. Soul food doesn’t get eaten in moderation… it loves excess. It drives us to want more and more. It’s the reason we break our diets for potlucks and homemade treats. It’s why churches can’t decide to be healthy in their meals… soul food is cheap, satisfying, and addictive. Even the church can’t help deliver us from this gluttony.
Is it right to kill your body in order to fill your soul’s? (Remember the Meth reference?)
No, it’s not okay and it’s not right to continue a cycle of slowly killing everyone around us for the sake of filling our Souls with Food… Am I the only one who sees how messed up this way of thinking is? Is it just me who thinks there might be better options to fill our souls with other than food? What could fill your soul and your life?
Stop making excuses about hurting people’s feelings for not eating their homemade treats. Make a plan and share your plan with people around you. The people around you will respect it and help hold you accountable to it. No one has shunned me for not eating their food and I bet you too will find that to be your reality as well. I bring my own meals everywhere and most of the time people are jealous of my food over what they are eating… it’s awesome! It also might be that Entre-Nous makes some awesome food as well! (You should check them out)
Whatever your hang-up is around Soul Food, be sure to stay on your plan and choose to fuel your Soul and your Body. Just be sure to Keep Going!