Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

A new improved more natural way to think about food and eating

It seems that either our culture or the food industries have sold us that eating is something good that if you’re lucky can be done all day long. This philosophy tells us that at moments that we don’t want to eat or drink, we’re abstaining or fasting. This as if the natural state of a human should be to consume continuously, all our waking hours. But is that so?

We have a bladder to collect urine. (Sorry if you are sensitive to the word urine or the idea of urinating.) At certain moments over the day, we go for a whiz. We don’t leak all the time. Well, just as we have a bladder to collect liquid waste, we have a stomach to collect food. We’re not cows who stand eating grass all day, later to lie down and ruminate. We’re built to take in an amount of food and then leave eating until the next meal.

Animals have sex to create offspring but people do it for pleasure too, and to solidify prime relationships against existential loneliness. (Sorry if you are sensitive to the word sex or the idea of having sex.) Sure, if you never had sex and just now got married, in the beginning, you might spend a lot of time in bed having sex again and again and with cuddling in-between. After Yom Kippur, you could have many small meals with snacks in-between. But on a normal day, why consume besides a couple of nutritious meals?

No tree grows cocktail nuts. (Sorry if you are allergic to nuts.) No nut came into this world to be consumed unnoticed as a side dish to a TV program. Snacking is unnatural. A bite to eat or ‘having tea’ are not natural eating.

Even between breaths, we pause. (Sorry if you are asthmatic.) That does not mean that we abandoned breathing. We take in air a dozen times per minute — not more. And why should we continuously eat and drink?

When we would like to lose weight, we would just eat smaller meals (or meals with less calories) and less frequently. No dieting, no fasting.

Besides tradition, habit and ads, one more thing could be pushing us to be ready for intake all the time: feeling displeased about something/anything. In our cultures that conspire against feelings, we may not sense that we are welcome to feel and deal with emotions. We learned to suppress them instead of talking them out. We can never satisfy giant feelings by taking consumptions. And small feelings are often worthy of our attention too.

Maybe we should become more receptive to what could come out of our mouths than what could go in. Let’s have more output and less intake.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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