There is a hot debate whether or not food alters your mood. Can food really influence your disposition, thus changing the direction of your life? Sir Issac Newton was inspired by an apple to the dome, but what about foods’ effect on the inside of our skulls? That’s the driving question behind food psychology, the study of how food choices influence mental processes and vice versa. It’s a field of study undertaken by brilliant, inquiring minds, and also me.
Does “Many Apples A Day Keep the Blues Away?”
This study suggests a correlation between positive feelings and eating fruits and veggies. I decided to test it. First, I had to come to terms with a few personal limitations:
- Multilevel modeling and hierarchical linear modeling programs. I’m not gonna be able to figure out what these are, not even close
- Severe lack in time/patience to speak to one young adult, even briefly, about their feelings. I’m not chatting with 281 of them everyday for 3 weeks
- No “chocolate-coated and/or cream-filled biscuits” in my diet. It was in the study I swear.
- I don’t speak New Zealander, does “potato crisps” mean chips or fries? That’s what British people call chips. But if that’s true, does “corn chips” mean something totally different?
Luckily I do have a pretty good handle on my emotions. In their study they only needed 18. I have way more than that, so we’re good. This was enough for me to want to move forward with recreating their study. to recreate the effect of surveying 200+ people, I decided to just survey myself. The statistical weight should be equal if not better.
Food Alters Your Mood
Food alters your mood, and here’s my data to prove it:
DAY 1 (approx. 8 cups of water throughout)
8:13 am; three bananas, 2 cups of coffee
10:04 am; one apple
12:48 pm; Salad: spinach, tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, green peppers, lemon juice. Exact quantities unknown. I don’t know how to make good salads. Also I slammed 12oz of orange juice.
2:00 pm; two apples and one banana
4:00 pm; one apple
6:38 pm; Salad: iceberg lettuce, broccoli, strawberry slices, cucumber slices, lemon juice. Quantities again unknown. Also I just threw some healthy shit together. I still suck at making salads.
7:23pm; two bananas
I miss meat, but take heart in knowing I’ll be with it again tomorrow. This leaves me feeling only sort of depressed, sad, and/or unhappy.
I was jittery after the coffee this morning. But the caffeine crash combined with the sudden omission of meat from my diet made me feel dazed. I starred into space. A lot. No anxiety or tension today since they need a certain degree of attentiveness. And I was no longer capable of that.
The mental fog though gave way to anger and hostility. The original survey had so many synonyms to rank. I’m sparing you the monotony.
Felt pretty confident after work, but then I passed a halal food cart on my way home. It smelled like they were cooking a whole lamb over a bonfire. And that bonfire sat in front of an industrial strength box fan aimed at my face. It reminding me of the impending salad for dinner, and my contentment levels dropped.
Soon I’ll go to sleep, then wake
DAY 2 (approx. 12 cups of water throughout)
8:30 am: four strips of bacon, two breakfast sausages
12:12 pm: ¼ lb ground lamb, 8oz beef jerky
3:34 pm: 24 pcs. Hormel Original Pepperoni Slices
6:45 pm: Bacon wrapped chicken breast, 8oz. summer sausage
8:04 pm: 7 pcs. Hormel Original Pepperoni Slices
Depressed. Sad. I am death, the I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
Feelings of calm have been overtaken. I realize now that today’s diet might have shaved a tangible measurement of time off of my lifespan.
Day One I included many apples. They did not drive away what the authors of the original study might characterize as “the blues”. Day Two was much more effective in keeping said blues away. It also brought lethargy, sweat, and a tinge of existential dread. I can’t say my experience lines up with the original studies conclusion. But it does seem clear that food alters your mood. I invite the researchers of the original study to mull over my data. With my my significant contributions, we now know that their study appears to be fake science. Good day.