It would happen with some regularity: I’d have a flight from London to the Netherlands, on a Friday, after work. I’d arrive on Dutch soil, tired and hungry. And there was one thing going through my mind: Hamburger!
The reason they always wrap up your burger is so that you can’t immediately see that what you’re buying is not what you’re getting…
Rushing through customs, off to Burger King, mouth watering at the thought of a big piece of meat.
With my burger and fries in a bag, I’d head down to the train, having half an hour to concentrate on devouring the greasy goodness.
The first two bites would be awesome! Meat, fat (and probably sugar) hitting my tongue and stomach, sending waves of well-being through my brain. Life is good!
Then I get to bit three to five and the awesomeness is already diminishing. Bite six tastes like cardboard and at bite seven I’m feeling positively disgusted. I vow never to fall for this trap again.
But then next time comes round, I’m tired and hungry and again I find myself standing in line…
It’s silly! I see myself as a smart, educated individual. I actively work to optimize my own happiness. And then something as simple as a hamburger defeats me, time and again! It’s a puzzle really! Or better, it was.
Recently I read an article where they explained that the human brain has different centers for pleasure and craving. And that the craving center, the part that makes you want to get things, is many times larger than the pleasure center, the part that makes you enjoy things.
Historically I’m sure that this was a good idea. It can’t hurt to constantly crave sugar, fat, salt (and sex and alcohol) when their supply is very limited. Something you craved led to something you liked. Easy! It’s only been recently that supermarkets and burger joints provide infinite amounts of whatever foodstuff we want (and the internet and bars provide porn and beer respectively). And too much of something is not a problem for the craving center, but it is for the liking one.
Outlawing advertisement would probably make the worlds such a better place!
Burger King (and many other companies) make good use of this. If they only gave us what we liked
, we wouldn’t buy as much. But give us something that we crave and the sky’s the limit (especially with a bit of help from advertisement; it’s not hard to get the craving machine running…)
Knowing this I’m hoping it’ll be a bit easier to stay away from hamburgers and the likes. But I’m sure there are many more things where there is a strong disconnect between the wanting and the having (“shopping” as an institution anyone?). If I come across any more I’ll be sure to let you know…
I’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.
If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!