Emotions in Food

When’s the last time you’ve actually paid attention to how food advertisements were being displayed on television? These food manufacturers are insanely crafty in how they project information and have us feel certain emotions in order to choose their line of product.

For example, I was watching a segment of commercials and in the space of those 5-8 minutes, emotions changed from happy and togetherness, to lonely and consolement. Each food product protrayed a different message with the food as if to say, “eat this and you’ll feel better.” I noticed with the Dove chocolate bar commercial that they want me to feel that to be able to take a few moments for myself, because “I’m worth that much. This is me time,” that I’ll need to rip open a package of their chocolates and chow down. The woman eating the chocolates goes over and beyond enjoyment; her expression is practically orgasmic. I noticed that with Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese (an old, obese-me favorite), a blue box meant family togetherness, something I longed for as a kid. But instead of the lines of communication beginning to open in my home, we weren’t talking about what was happening or to each other. I stuffed my face with processed white pasta and cheese powder. I was pursuing that closeness with my family, something I thought that box of Kraft could provide.

How often you do see a bag of carrots equated with feeling confident and successful? You don’t. It’s just not possible (but I can dream, can’t I?).

I think the only way to get around these messages and NOT have them influence your life, your diet, and your waistline… is to first acknowledge them. So blindly and mindlessly, we stare into space as these commercials pass on. If we don’t take time to actually question the messages they are sending us, we are likely to fall victim. I think a lot about how other kids (my younger self, included) fall prey to these food producer’s messages without our awareness. Suddenly, they are begging to take home a box of Froot Loops because they feel a strong connection to Toucan Sam; they begin to become stubborn and only want to eat foods that have their favorite Disney charactors displayed on the front, no matter the actual ingredients INSIDE the package. They want to feel cool and accepted by their peers (even at the young age of 2); these commercials and advertisements govern their choice.

Have you noticed these hidden messages that are being sent with fast food and boxed/bagged products?


One thought on “Emotions in Food

  1. I think this is one of my favorite things about the advent of DVR… I forward commercials left and right. Sure, I miss the movie trailers sometimes, but I can always back up and watch those. I don’t, however, miss the restaurant and product commercials for food. I’m less compelled to eat dessert with no mouthwatering commercials bombarding me during a show in the evening. I’m less driven to buy things I neither need nor really want. And I’m more likely to get into the kitchen and scratch cook something I enjoy and can count the calories in down to the last bit because I’m responsible for every single ingredient.

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