THINK…hypothethically speaking, could we associate food with love because…



I’ve been thinking about this one (also) for a while…

why do we associate food with love?

and here’s my hypothesis:

disclaimer: I can only speak from personal experience, no animals were harmed during this investigation

picture this, or better yet, picture yourselves as babies, the only time Mom, grandma, Dad, auntie, nanny didn’t avoid or ignore your crying was when they knew you were hungry… nobody denies a hungry, crying baby their bottle…then their mashed zuchinni…their steamed broccoli… and, what came with the bottle? a pair of warm and loving arms… what came with the mashed zuchinni or steamed broccoli? a smiling, here-comes-the-airplane, cheering Mom, Dad, caregiver…

I remember stopping anything I was doing when my children said, Mom, I’m hungry… and sitting with them, to keep them company and have a little chat…

Of course I also remember them shouting, like it was a few minutes ago, Mom I can’t find my blue ninjagooooooo…Mom, I can’t find my iPod chargerrrrrrrr (oops, it was a few minutes ago)…do you think I stopped blogging for that? NOOOOOO

Although, I’m looking at the clock, any time now they are going to ask for dinner and what will my response be: I’ll turn of my computer and take their order…Of course, because activity comes to a pause when the children are hungry…

So, saying you are hungry, brings food and food guarantees Mom’s attention…

Now…  Do we instinctively reach for food with -an unconscious- hope that Mom (or a MOM substitute) will be there to make us feel better? could this ‘programming’ have anything to do with over-eating when we are feeling emotional? could the over-eating be avoided if the person had someone to talk to, someone who would give them a warm hug when they are feeling out of sorts?

It doesn’t hurt to try…

When my son says I’m hungry I always put my ear to his stomach and say, “I can’t hear any grumbling in there…are you really hungry? could it be something else?” (all the while hugging him) and then he looks at me and says: could you play with me for a while?


Anyway, I found this article on NPR’s The Salt

food vs. love

How Did Our Brains Evolve To Equate Food With Love?

“…somewhere along the way, our brains became wired to remember these food events [harvest feasts]and the people associated with them…” quote from the article

The article explains it from a different- read, scientific- perspective… click on over and get the whole story…

Soooooo, what do you think? 

been there, done that, right?!

Now that that’s out of my system…I can go on to the next hypothesis for another of MY life’s mysteries…

hugs people


12 responses to “THINK…hypothethically speaking, could we associate food with love because…

  1. I totally agree, something similar happened with my son and my mom… Out of the blue , when my son was about two (hey, that rhymed) he started asking for chocolate cookies, OREO specifically, and I was very surprised because I never had cookies at home, Chatting with my mom I mentioned this and she said, ” oh, I gave him some the other day, was that wrong?” What could I answer? but this did turn into quite a problem, I couldn’t take him to the store with me tomget some milk because to get tomthe fridge where the dairy products were I had to pass by the cookie aisle…and it was tantrum or cookies… When it was unavoidable, as it soon became because he was so big I could not carry him, he’d go directly to the cookies… Everyone would give him cookies when i wasn’t watching and he soon started gaining so much weight…I had to start restricting and being very direct with these people (mom, sister in law, mother in law), after many difficult moments he does not eat cookies anymore even when he’s where they are offered it’s like something happened and after atlking and trying to convince him that they were not good for him he finally got it….but oh my did we have a hard time…food is a two way street, as you very well say!! Thank you BB 🙂 reading that you felt comfortable commenting is lovely

  2. Thank you for such a warm welcoming message. You truly know how to make a girl feel at home.
    I too believe in enhancing a great post with discussions, I just usually don’t jump in the very first comment, This post of yours struck a chord though ad I did somehow feel comfortable with offering up my two cents worth

    I am nodding my head with you in regards to grandmothers and moms showing love often through their food. I understand the history behind why, but as you point out so well this only exacerbates any emotional eating that may be present. I saw my own mom beginning this tradition with my two daughters, My girls will forever remember their grandmother greeting them with her need to feed them. And here is the other side of your point; That feeding their family no matter whether there is hunger, or if not… it feeds the mothers & grandmothers emotionally,
    Food always seems to be a two way street,


  3. Oh no BB, i absolutely enjoy comments that add to the value of the post, so please, on my blog say all you want and need…it enhances the pleasure of reading! Yes, moms and grandmothers say I love you with food making the connection all the more hard to break when there’s a problem with over eating caused by emotional problems…yay, another supporter for my hypothesis…thank you so much 🙂

  4. Really a fabulous post and yes I do agree that I associate certain foods with certain moods.
    In my family growing up with both my mom and maternal grand-mom it was always about making sure our needs and desires were met with food. I will always hear “Oh here eat something good for you” & ” Fill your tummy up with this”
    I think food should be enjoyed , it s more than just sustenance. But this being said you make an incredible valid point,

    Oh I got carried away here.. I came by to thank you for the follow to my Lady Barefoot Baroness blog a,, and found my soapbox instead.;-) Thank you so much ~ BB

  5. Good topic of conversation! I also equate food with love nut suspect there are many other elements/angles to the relationship. However after reading the NPR article, my new reason for loving food will resort to our distant ancestors. I say, “Blame the chimps!”

  6. so she’s not getting out of going to the bookstore or doing an activity with mom… jajajaaaa thanks for clicking over, can’t match your wonderful posts but I do hope you enjoyed the read 🙂

  7. I completely agree with this. Growing up, any heartache was solved with food, any success was celebrated with food, and every holiday centered around food. With my daughter, I try to never use food as a reward or a panacea. When we celebrate we go to the bookstore or do an activity together. When we’ve had a bad day, well, we go to the bookstore or do an activity together.

  8. Wow, thanks soooo much for saying this… I help my students write but I don’t apply my own teaching here making me feel I am writing in circles sometimes… I appreciate your kind words my friend! 🙂

  9. Thanks Stu… Great, so my ‘explanation’ is not that far fetched… I thought the article was missing that aspect of the connection with the mom and how in a strange way mom=love=food or mom+food=love …

  10. I think you’re spot on Alexandra. Food Water Shelter Warmth – this is the first step on Maslow’s heirarchy of human needs. No coincidence that ‘food’ is first of the first! Without food we perish. Love could be boiled down to a sense of security. Security we get from knowing that our mother’s provide food. This is why food has been so celebrated over the eons. We prefer to sit and eat in groups. We share food. No matter how good the food, something is missing if we eat alone. Food = Love? Definitely. Nice post. 🙂

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