On his blog for the NYT last week, Mark Bittman posed the question “Are We All Messed Up?” He’s referring to the discovery by Swiss scientists of a new eating disorder dubbed “gourmand syndrome,” which is associated with lesions in a particular area of the brain. Symptoms include “a preoccupation with food and a preference for fine eating.” Other tell-tale signs: intense agitation in the face of any mealtime delay, a compulsive desire to sample other people’s dishes (and cocktails), and a violent refusal to leave before dessert.
I knew it! There is something seriously wrong with me. Me and everyone else who writes food blogs. And reads them. You’re sick, too! Luckily, we are not alone as the entire country of France must be brain-damaged, as well.
The lesions in question are not usually malignant, thank god, but the researchers did note a correlation between right hemispheric damage, eating, and other potentially dangerous impulse control disorders. What? I can too control my impulses. HOW DARE YOU MAKE SUCH IMPLICATIONS!!! Why, just yesterday I had approximately 63 things I wanted to do, but I didn’t do them. Because they would be wrong. Instead, I ate some stale Hershey kisses I found. Later, I ate ice cream. And pretty much every time I walked through the kitchen I grabbed a handful of cashews. Oh, shut up, Swissy, just because you don’t blog about it doesn’t mean your brain is lesion-free.
What to do, what to do? I mean, there’s always surgery, but that seems to carry a lot of risk. Like what if the procedure results in a severe reduction in pie- making? What if the sight of fatty pork products makes me sleepy instead of delivering precious, precious orgasms? That would be tragic. So, I’m adding this to the growing list of mental problems I resolve to ignore this year.
In the meantime, somebody needs to declare war on the Swiss. They have way too much time on their hands.