Food Propaganda comes from the family too

19 Oct

The first image an American might come up with when asked about propagandistic food might be “freedom fries”, or the less well-known “freedom toast”, renamed because of French opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.  Few might look at their own families for sources of propagandistic food, but that is actually one of the first things I thought on the topic.  My mom loved telling me in my childhood that eating spicy foods would result in a long and energetic lifespan, pointing at my grandmother (her mother), who was well past 70 but still climbing apartment stairs and working in the medical lab daily.  I cannot remember what I thought of food when I was young, though I suspect I avoided my greens; nevertheless, I have been eating spicy foods for as long as I remember.

As I write this, I am also aware that many people simply cannot tolerate spicy food.  The only way I could rationalize this scientifically was to think that perhaps these people had too many spicy taste buds on their tongues, whereas I had too many burned away over the course of the years.  But even if that were true, that would suggest that at some point in time, I too was not able to tolerate spicy foods well.  It just goes to show how powerful propaganda in food can be, especially on a child whose mind can be easily molded.  Though I cannot remember it, the lull of a longer, more eventful life seems to have encouraged me to pick up spicy foods, to such an extent that my tolerance of spice has kept going up for as long as I can remember – and to the chagrin of friends who try spicy dishes I recommend.


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