J500 Media and the Environment


Keep an Eye Out On Comfort Foods by jackiemcc

When I was growing up, I loved pasta. That was my favorite food to eat, and I ate quite a bit of it. After I came to college and was on my own, I started to notice a trend—I unintentionally didn’t eat as much pasta as I used to.  Our ‘comfort foods’ have strong roots to our past (memories, people, or feelings); I think this connection is an important element to have in our lives. While I think this aspect is important, I think we need to watch how much we rely on these foods.

Some of the most popular comfort foods in the country include: pie, cake, ice cream, burgers, macaroni and cheese, pizza, chips, and candy, among others. From the http://www.epicurious.com website.

When we were kids, we all had certain foods our parents fed us quite often. And the ones we liked became our ‘comfort foods’. I think this really shapes who we are. When we move out and live on our own, these comfort foods are still a part of us and our diet, intentionally or unintentionally. The frequency might differ, but it will still be present in our lives.

We return to this comfort food because it reminds us our childhood. We long to return to a part our past, so we eat familiar foods that bring us back there. I think this comfort food is important for us to have, so we can go back to our childhood when we feel the need. If we are in an uncomfortable or stressed situation, that food will remind us of home, and make us feel more comfortable.

The ability to return to familiar surroundings is important in the psychology of one’s mind. If one feels very uncomfortable or stressed, they could go into a depression. It is important to have these options available, because it can prevent these feelings.

However, comfort food can also negatively affect one’s mood as well. It is quite common for people who are stressed or sad to eat more and less healthy comfort foods than those who are happy. We could go overboard on how much of that food we eat, which could result in weight gain and guilt.

To avoid these negative effects, there are many ways to control the urges of comfort foods. To control these urges you can: practice patience before eating comfort foods, limit your intake and surroundings of comfort foods, work alongside a friend who is facing the same dilemma, and limit, or eliminate completely, the amount of money you will spend on comfort foods.

So while comfort foods could return us to happy place in time, we need to be careful of how much of it we eat. Because we are sad or uncomfortable, we could eat too much of that comfort food, and be right back where we started.

-Jackie McClellan

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jackie-
Interesting post. I know that I have my comfort foods, and even though I try to keep my choices as healthy as possible, it is difficult to refuse certain sweets.
It would be interesting to see common comfort foods from other countries. I wonder if America’s comfort foods compare with the comfort foods of other countries. Maybe this is part of the reason why we have a growing obesity problem and other countries don’t.
– Becca N.

Comment by beccan

Becca-

I can relate to it being difficult to refuse certain sweets sometimes too! And you make a very good point about obesity in our country as compared to other countries.

I looked into comfort foods from other countries, and on average, I found that their comfort foods are much healthier than ours. Some of them include:

-Germany=jaeger schnitzel (veal with mushrooms),Sauerbraten (marinated beef), spaetzle (dumpling-like egg noodle), bread dumplings, and red cabbage.

-India=split peas or lentil

-Mexico=enfrijoladas (corn tortillas dipped in seasoned and pureed beans, with Mexican cream, queso fresco, and salsa on top), and beans.

So I think it is quite clear to see how those are better for the people than our pizza and fries!
Thanks for bringing up such a great point!

-Jackie M.

Comment by jackiemcc

Jackie-

This was a very relatable post. I too really enjoyed and frequently ate pasta when I was growing up. However, in college I haven’t seem to have eaten it as much. I think McDonalds has profited off of this childhood comfort food thing. It seems like all kids have eaten Happy Meals. For busy parents, the Happy Meal is an easy meal to give kids, plus kids love them!! As these kids turn into adults, they may view McDonalds as a type of childhood memory therefore becoming a type of comfort food.

-Tess H.

Comment by tesshedrick

Tess-

I’m glad you could relate to this post! That’s interesting that your pasta habits were similar to mine. You make a very good point about McDonalds. I know my parents fed me McDonalds as a child, and I know as a college student it seems like the quickest and cheapest way to eat. So I can understand how McDonalds can be seen as a comfort food because people may have eaten it as a kid. Great point to bring up!

-Jackie M.

Comment by jackiemcc

Jackie,

I am wondering, do you think if parents were to put a greater emphasis on health that some kids would grow up to have healthy foods as comfort foods? -Kristina B.

Comment by kristinabev

Kristina-

I do think if parents put a greater emphasis on healthy foods that kids can grow up with healthy comfort foods. A parent is one of the first people to introduce us to foods as a child, so whatever they feed us can have a large impact on what we eat when we get older.

For example, my dad taught me to eat healthy foods growing up so I’ve had that notion in the back of my head. My mom on the other hand, did not. So I’ve kind-of have to juggle both experiences in my mind. So I think parents do play a pivotal role in their child’s health.

I think parents need to play a larger role in educating their kids with healthier foods.

-Jackie M.

Comment by jackiemcc

Chocolate is my comfort food. 🙂

Comment by magnifique100




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