The Hunger Games: Why Food is Great

Living things thrive off of food the way automobiles run on gasoline. We need food to keep ourselves going. It helps to build muscle and sufficiently fuels our organs.

Of course, aside from the healthy stuff, food is just good. We all need food to live, but many live for food. The expanse of dishes, flavors, textures, and cooking styles makes for a vast plain of endless joy for the gourmand in all of us. Unfortunately, various factors can often lead to us starving ourselves.

The Problem with Food Stamps

The economy has made it hard for many of us to eat those delicious feasts that feed into our greatest sense of hedonism. Many get by on government aid, like food stamps. Peter Orszag wrote a recent column that mentioned one of the biggest problems with food stamps. According to Peter Orszag, many families that use the government food stamp system spend their allotted monthly amount in the beginning of the month, leaving very little for the end of the month.

As Peter Orszag explains, the food stamp program—more formally known as the Supplemental  Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—has done away with actual stamps from the past, instead giving families a certain amount of money, based on assets, family size, and other factors, each month. This money is only good for food and does not roll over.

While many families do spend the entirety of their food stamp money—which totals about $500 for an average family of four—the simple way to avoid splurging is to budget appropriately. It’s expected that you use part of your income to supplement the cost of groceries, but given proper budgeting and doing away with excess foods, families shouldn’t have a problem eating good food and staying healthy.

Hunger Physiology

In terms of medicine and human physiology, the average human can go up to eight weeks without food so long as they have water. Of course, some people have survived longer and others have not at all. There are a lot of factors at work, some physical, some psychological.

After a no-food period, the carbs are the first thing to get used up in your body. After the carbs is the fat, which is often why people with more of it tend to survive longer without food. Finally, the proteins go. It’s at that point that things tend to get bad as proteins are what you—your flesh, muscles, and organs—are made of.

Starving yourself can lead to all sorts of bad things, from general weakness to hallucinations. Starvation can even affect your decision-making abilities and will ultimately lead to your organs shutting down one by one.

So do your body a favor and enjoy that good food around you. Whether it’s a burger or a soufflé, your body needs it and it probably tastes delicious.

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