It’s not our fault. That’s what I tell myself. At an intellectual level I am no fan of the hot chip, but at a hypothalamic level I can’t resist them. Most of them time I can say No when they remain abstract, but put some in front of me and it’s a different game entirely. Why?
Needless to say, I rationalised the blazes out of this one a while back, and fall back on my rationalisation any time a plate of chips is at my mercy (note: when it comes to chips, there is no mercy). For my rationalisation, I have my medical degree and the great clear thinking of Robert Winston (the Right Hon Prof Baron Winston of Hammersmith no less) to thank. Here’s how it goes …
We are all hard-wired to be hot-chip-eating fiends. We are built for famine and not at all equipped for plenty. Through millions of years of evolution, pre-humans and early humans did it tough and natural selection did its bit. And who, back then, was best equipped to survive going hungry? The people who ate the most before the hunger came along. The people who had stored the most energy. The people whose hypothalamic appetite centres drove them hardest to seek and eat fat and carbohydrates. (Do you see where this is going?)
So, those without the genes programming their appetite centres for fat-seeking and carb-seeking didn’t make the cut. Famine after famine, their numbers fell. In the end, only the energy storers kept going. We are all the progeny of survivors, of ancient folk wired for fats and carbohydrates. It’s just who we are. The love of hot chips is in our genes.
What we aren’t built for is the lives most of us in developed countries live now. Our ancestors walked 20km a day and were hungry much of the time. For many of us, our nearest burger is a few hundred metres drive away.
But for me it’s not so much about burgers. Perhaps the fat+carb combo refined to its purest form is the hot chip. At a distance, reason can over-ride my genetic urge to feast on chips but, at close quarters, well, it’s just nature.
I hope that’s of some help to those similarly afflicted.