Epigenetics – Or Why I Must Lick The Spoon

As the title might suggest, I would like to chat a bit about epigenetics. Don’t worry, I’m not that smart so it isn’t going to get too deep. You can look it up on Wikipedia for a more thorough explanation than I can give. Basically epigenetics are gene expression. External factors (i.e. the food you eat) can cause your genes to behave in a different way than intended. Not only the food you eat, but also the food your parents ate.

When your genes behave differently, look out! Disease may follow, such as diabetes or cancer. I am positing that since I come from a long line of bakers and baked good consumers, that epigenetically I am forced – forced, I say – to lick the spoon when I bake cookies. I have no choice. It’s in my genetic makeup.

And you thought this was going to be an all science-y and intelligent article, didn’t you? Well, get over it, this ain’t RobbWolf.com.

I had to bake cookies yesterday for some ladies and gentlemen that deserve them very much. Since I am still on the Whole30 I am not permitted to even dip my finger in the batter for a taste test. Not that my brain really wanted to, but I had to about literally slap myself ten (or more) times when every fiber of my body demanded that I lick the spoon and lick it now, missy! Genes can be soooo bossy.

If I was not an obsessive reader of evolutionary based fitness and nutrition blogs, I would have just assumed that I am weak. But, having been to a family dinner a few days previously I know where these urges come from. The meal was at my aunt’s house. There were Indian tacos (tacos served on deep fried bread dough instead of tortillas), chocolate cream pie, cherry cheesecake, and cinnamon rolls. And I’m guessing that if I had but whispered the words “ice cream” a giant tub would have appeared out of the freezer.

I, of course, ate the meat from the tacos and some plain lettuce. Yum. The taco sauce had corn syrup in it. Sour cream and cheese are verboten. Of course I don’t need to explain the deep fried bread dough or the desserts. All of these things were passed right under my nose all night long. Like I said, a family of baked good consumers. Genetics in action.

One of my cousins recently gave up his 6-pack a day Mello Yellow habit and with great glee informed every one else drinking pop that they ought to “give that shit up.” Good for him for cutting the liver bursting swill out of his diet, but he was stuffing his face with edible junk while he was on his high horse. He then looked at my plate and said “I’ll give up pop, but I won’t give up food.” I was about to tell him exactly what his food was doing to his body, but I thought that if I announced to the whole table that their poop was now circulating in their bloodstream, it might be just a bit of downer. So I just ate my ground beef and lettuce and let the dessert eaters be.

Which brings me to back to epigenetics and why I must lick the spoon.

It’s all my mother’s fault, you see.

(And Grandma’s)

Whole30 – Day 17: Hamburger patty with dijon mustard; chicken, peppers and guacamole; steak and persimmon.


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