Eating should be optional

We shouldn't have to eat every day, even ice creams

Having to eat every day is a ridiculous design flaw in humans. Eating is expensive, time-consuming, and often dull. I have a better proposal.

Whoever designed humans so we have to eat every day made a serious mistake.

Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time, but if a bit of thought had gone in it would never have made it out of the boardroom.

The problems with having to eat every day

Expense

The first problem is obvious. Eating is expensive.

Think about the big issues in the world. Once you get past people blowing each other up and friends who borrow books and never return them, hunger is right up there.

Some people can’t afford to eat regularly because eating is freaking expensive, and that isn’t fair.

Maybe they work hard and scrounge up the money for one meal. They eat it and for a few hours the world is good.

But after half a day you know what happens? They need to eat AGAIN.

Tell me this isn’t a terrible design flaw in the human body.

Inconvenience

Even if expense is not an issue, having to eat multiple times a day is jolly inconvenient.

Maybe you’re busy. You have a job or a life, possibly even both. The last thing you want to do when you’re elbow-deep in living is stop everything to prepare and eat food.

Such a waste of time.

Of course, entrepreneurial people have endeavoured to cash in on the hassle of preparing food, hence 2-minute noodles. Though whether these are in fact food is debatable.

With practice, you can get the eating part down to a couple of minutes per meal, as long as you don’t eat anything that requires too much chewing or too many cutlery antics.

Steak is definitely out.

However, speed eating may not be a good idea. I Googled “foods you need to chew a lot”–hoping to supplement my “steak” point–and all the articles that came up were about the psychological and physiological benefits of chewing your food thoroughly.

Chewing seems to cure everything from dandruff to hangnail.

I didn’t read the articles, though, so perhaps they’re thinly-veiled ads for dentists.

Alternatively, you can learn to eat while you do whatever it is you’d rather be doing. This works well if you’d rather be reading a book, less well if you’d rather be jet skiing.

Eating while jet skiing
It’s hard to eat while doing this. Not impossible, but hard.

The ability to eat while doing life is why I learned to type one-handed.**

Boredom with food

This is the big one for me.

I am SO BORED of eating.

Sure, there was a time when it was fun, but after all these years I still need to shove things in my mouth, chew, and swallow them every single day? Give me a break.

I’m not saying I never enjoy eating, but I enjoy lots of things that I wouldn’t want to do every day. Like watching Harry Potter. They’re great movies (and books), but even I can only watch them so many days in a row before I start to get bored.

A better proposal

Having explained what’s wrong with the current system, let me explain my proposal.

Eating should be optional.

And it should be unrelated to your health, weight, energy, mood, and everything else you care about.

Some people can’t afford to feed themselves, some (like children) can only eat what another person gives them, and some can feed themselves but are terrible at it.

We need to stop penalising them.

Everyone complains there aren’t enough hours in the day. Under my system, you’ll have the option of escaping the burden of eating for as long as it takes to get your workload under control.

And being bored of eating will never be a problem again. When you can’t face the idea of another mouthful of lamb roast or creamy mashed potatoes, take a break. When you come back in a month food will be exciting and new again.

We’ll still be able to enjoy an ice cream or strawberries and chocolate cake when we felt like it, but we won’t have to worry about calories or deal with mood swings if we neglect to eat.

There’s no way this is not a superior system.

Why your objections are wrong

Now someone’s going to tell me that I shouldn’t pick on eating. It’s not that inconvenient, and eating together is a pleasant social activity.

Playing paintball is a pleasant social activity. So is tramping. So is playing Monopoly.

It’s nice to have the option of eating with friends. It’s less nice to be forced to do this instead of other activities because otherwise you’ll get hangry and kill each other.

Let us decide if we want to go birdwatching with friends or out for pancakes.

Here’s another relevant psychological fact.*** You enjoy activities more when they’re infrequent.

If you eat dinner every night it’s mundane. If you do it once a week it becomes a special occasion.

I’m sure with my leaky arguments I’ve convinced you that eating should be optional. So next time this question comes up for referendum I know I can trust you to vote the right way.

Until that day, happy TV dinners.

What do you think? Am I the only person in the world who’s bored of eating?

Get notified every time I publish a post or story. You can eat while you read them.

** This is entirely untrue. I learned to type one-handed when I was about five, and got fast enough that there wasn’t any point learning to type with two hands. The fact I can eat with one hand and type with the other is just a bonus.

*** And by “fact” I mean “thing I want to say in order to make my point”.

Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

42 thoughts on “Eating should be optional”

  1. Wait, are you saying I’m not the only one who gets frustrated when I have to stop doing stuff to eat? I’ve always thought someone should have invented a supplement by now. So you could take it in the morning and not have to worry about eating the rest of the day. But I think I like your solution even better.

    1. You’re definitely not the only one! My solution might be more comprehensive, but if you do you come up with a pill I can take when I get up that covers my eating needs for the day I’ll be ordering them by the bucketload.

  2. Well I do like to eat, but every night around 5 o’clock, when I have to whip something up for my hungry group (all boys/men), I wish we could just skip it!

  3. I love eating, but would love to have someone cook for me! That would definitely free me some time. With that said, there are days I would happily take a pill or something, so I don’t need to eat and still be healthy. I guess we can’t have it all unless you find a way to bring this up at the next meeting in that boardroom. Lol

    1. Cooking is definitely the more time-consuming part. I’ll put this on the agenda for the next board meeting, but I can’t guarantee they’ll talk about it because they tend to ignore everything I say.

  4. Unfortunately I love eating *way* too much to ever get bored of it. That being said, I’d still vote for your referendum. I’d be a lot more productive, and when I had bouts of gluttony (which are sadly frequent) I wouldn’t have to worry about buying new clothes because mine were inexplicably too tight!

    1. Excellent points! It always seems unfair how the foods that taste good tend to be the ones that make your clothes not fit. Don’t worry – under my system all that will change.

  5. As a lover of food, it sounds to me like someone needs to spice up their diet. I get tired of cooking and cleaning, but I RARELY get tired of eating. If all your meals were catered (each unique but also suited especially for your tastes), and they were hand delivered fresh to your writing desk/lap while you’re watching tv/giant rock you happen to be walking by while tramping, you would LOVE eating. But, I can see the flaw: that would dramatically increase the expense of eating.

    In one of my sci-fi story ideas, people don’t eat anymore. They basically inject themselves with nutrients. Maybe you should time travel to the future and hope it doesn’t end up more like a Soylent Green scenario 😛

      1. Of course! I think you’d like it there. No one ages or dies naturally anymore. So you’d have plenty of time to sip coffee and write all the stories you want, without ever worrying about how much time you spend Tweeting or blogging 😀

  6. If steak were cheaper, I’d eat it every day. Even cook it myself.

    Sleep, on the other hand. Sleep should be optional. That’s (ideally) eight to ten uninterrupted hours of inactivity that’s being wasted. Think about it: A third of your life is spent unconscious. Wake up, sheeple! (literally, wake up)

  7. Hmm-mm … If I had my d’ruthers, I’d choose sleeping as optional. At least with eating we can multi-task, but with sleeping, all you do for 6-8-ish hours a day is lay there. I mean, really! What a waste of time! 😀

  8. Except the food companies would riot and go broke and live in gutters. Instead of not having to eat, can someone please make the gum meals from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? 😀

    I much rather not have to sleep. Sleeping should be like a hobby or something. I would have time to cook if I didn’t have to sleep. Nothing is a bigger waste of time! We could have hovercars by now if the tech-geniuses didn’t need to sleep. Only babies and children should sleep. For obvious reasons. Give the rest of us a break. 🙂

    1. Ooh, yes! Those gum meals sounded great. They don’t require hands and they totally get rid of the food preparation part.

      It sounds like the people have spoken. Next board meeting I’ll request the powers that be consider changing people so we don’t have to sleep. It might put a few bed-making companies out of business, but I’m sure they can switch to producing gum meals.

  9. I like the part where you can eat whatever you want, and calories don’t count. That sounds perfect, because food is wonderful. Although I am rather spoiled, because the SO’s a chef and he actually likes cooking when he comes home, which means I get to eat lots of wonderful things. It’s less good when he’s away, though, because I’ve basically forgotten how to cook anything but salad and chilli. It gets a bit boring after the first week, so I’d be okay with opting out of eating for that stretch.

    1. And I also *really* need to learn how to type one-handed. I’m rubbish with both hands, so maybe I’d be more accurate with just five digits to deal with.

      1. It is a great skill, and for some reason people find it more impressive than touch-typing. It’s like being a performing monkey. Maybe you can’t do everything the human acrobats can do, but your audience is more appreciative.

    2. That might be favourite part too. I would love to share a house with a chef. In fact, I think this is the reason I can’t cook – both my parents cook really well, so I never had to learn.

      1. My mum’s a really good cook, and I was terrible when I first left home. But then I somehow ended up working as a cook on a boat, so I had to learn. Really, really quickly. However, I seem to have forgotten again. Except for cakes and cookies – those are my department, and I’m not sure how, as the SO worked as a pastry chef for years…

        1. For some reason I can’t reply to you, so I seem to be carrying on a conversation with myself… Re the cookie question, it may be a matter of motivation. I think my desire for cakes and cookies is probably stronger than his.

          That said, he does keep stealing my recipes to take to work…

        2. We’re writers. We’re good at talking to ourselves. 🙂

          Maybe’s he’s trying to make you feel better about your feeble cooking abilities in other areas.

  10. I fear I am on the outside here, as I have never ever once ever gotten even a little bit bored with eating. I may not do backflips over everything I eat, but I always find it rewarding. At least for that nanosecond. I would choose other things to make optional, such as the necessity of earning an income.

    1. Don’t worry – I have no intention of denying you the joy of eating. I do like the idea of having income-earning as optional. I guess that’s why I occasionally buy lotto tickets. (Not that I could afford to quit work even if I won first division. There’s not much money in it here. 🙁 )

  11. I usually like to use proper sentences here on WordPress because I am in fact writing a novel but I can only say one thing: lmao.

  12. I do so love cooking and eating, but for me, it’s akin to sleeping: I love it, but I hate it. So much time is wasted doing either activity, when there are just so many other things to do that are so much more worthwhile and productive. Also, it’d be nice if our pets didn’t have to eat. Then we wouldn’t have to clean up after them every stinkin’ day. Even after my kids were out of diapers, I lamented the fact that I will still need to manually clean up doo-doo every day for the next eighteen years.

  13. I love to eat, but I don’t like to cook. I wish I didn’t have to spend so much time thinking what I’m going to cook when and what kind of groceries I should buy. I do think it would be cool if human beings were biologically more efficient and we only needed to eat once a week or something. 😀

    1. I could get on board with eating once a week. Grocery shopping is a terrible hassle, especially if you actually want to come out of it with things to eat for the week.

  14. Maybe write a story about a world where people don’t have to eat. There is a lot of scope for imagination.
    Think how the economy would be different, schools, family, dating, poverty, lifestyles, personalities, religion, gender (no more need for bread winners)
    Every aspect of life could be remolded. What would people do if unshackled by their need to eat? Many are at least subconsciously motivated to work by the fear of hunger, others might pursue passions more vehemently unburdened by it. How would this divide manifest socially.

    I would definitely read that! 🙂

    1. Ooh, that’s an interesting idea! But it was your idea, so you should write it and I’ll read it. 🙂 Though I do worry that dragons would be less scary if they didn’t feel the urge to eat people.

      1. But you would make a better story of it I’m sure, whether dragons are included or not! Ah well, perhaps one day I’ll write it, and then you could tell me if you still stand by giving away food after if you’ve seen what that world looks like in detail 🙂

  15. My counterargument: pizza.

    My mother had a big thing about chewing your food slowly when I was a kid. She thought it would make your food digest better. She has a whole litany of things like that: using straws is better for your teeth because the straw is conducting the liquid past your teeth; sleeping on your back will give you nightmares because you’re putting pressure on the back of your head. There’s more that I can’t remember. I don’t know where she got these ideas from.

    1. Mmmm, pizza, I say the first hundred times. Then it becomes more like, meh, pizza.

      Those are great ideas! I always wondered where nightmares came from, and now I know. I will take care to sleep on my back only when it is entirely necessary for cat-related reasons.

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