Stuff With Information, Starving For Knowledge

It’s been said that we are in an “Information Age.” But I ask, is more information necessarily better information? When you consider that our attention spans are getting shorter, and marketers are grabbing every opportunity to catch our attention via ads on Google, YouTube and Facebook, how do we really know what’s important to know?

The other night the evening news featured a story regarding the efficacy of providing caloric information on restaurant menus. According to the study referenced, only a small percentage of people actually make a lower calorie (and therefore “better”) food choice after looking at the information provided. Many people make the same food choices regardless of the caloric values listed, and apparently, a huge percentage of people actually choose foods based on a higher caloric value. Their rationale is that they are getting “more calories for the dollar.”

Now I could write a short novel based on this bit alone, but it gets better. The very next story on the same edition of the evening news reported that maple syrup is full of anti-oxidants and other health benefits and is therefore, “good for you.”

In less than 5 minutes we’ve received a plethora of information. But does it really tell us anything?  More importantly, what is it implying?

The first story reinforced the (flawed) notion that we should approach eating like “calorie budgeting.” Lower calorie foods are “better” and if you eat something of a higher caloric value it will “cost you.” And if people just had the caloric information, we would make “wise” food choices.

When did nourishing your body become a “price to pay?” This idea has done nothing but create dysfunctional relationships with food and exercise and with ourselves. If we didn’t already intuitively know that this is an impractical approach from the pain we experience, it should be clear that this idea is counter productive if people are making high calorie (and therefore, “worse”) food choices simply to get “more calories for the dollar.”

Let’s look at the follow up information. Maple syrup is “good for you” because it is full of naturally occurring anti-oxidants. Never mind the sugar content, what is maple syrup generally used for? Pancakes and waffles!

Now I’m not saying that pancakes or waffles are “bad.” I will never say any food is “good” or “bad.” I’d just like to point out that if you’re at a restaurant eating pancakes or waffles, you would have likely seen the caloric value of the dish on the menu. Are the anti-oxidants in the maple syrup going to have any real effect on your health one way or the other?

We are inundated with information – much of it conflicting, much of it useless, and most of it furthering dysfunctional and unsustainable beliefs regarding our bodies and our health.

So what do we do? We tune out the noise. We stop looking outside ourselves for answers. We listen to our bodies. We listen to our hearts.  We align our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and act from the inspiration that comes forth.