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The backhand of some food

(article, Culinate staff)

Last week, a new study was released that showed, in rats at least, that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin do. And when rats eat enough of  these foods, they develop compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction.

Francis Lam, who heads up the food content at Salon, was troubled by the study — not because of the science involved, but because of the emotional reminders in the news. Lam loves to eat, loves to cook, and loves to spread the good word about the joy of food, but he also acknowledges how complicated it can be:

bq. Because food is good, because my field is so rife with how food reminds of home, of warmth and love, it's an occupational hazard to have it all feel a bit romantic after a while. You know: Soup comes with mittens and a hug from Mom. Cake comes with puppies and flowers. I try my hardest to stay out of LaLa Land, but it's unnerving to be reminded that sometimes, food is not happy but fraught with difficulty and pain. Whether or not "food addiction" truly exists, the act of eating is  troubled — and troubling — for many: those with eating disorders, or the very many who struggle with weight or health.

Lam goes on to tell a few stories about his own encounters with troubled eating. Good reading.