As much a feeling in emotion as it is a physical sensation, hunger is what drives perhaps the life of every living being. Immensely wide in its definition that finds equal resonance across aspects of the larger social and political scheme of things, the most basic and universal reference of hunger is invoking of that desire for food naturally experienced by one and all. But surprisingly even in considering this desire for food in as essential terms of it without taking into account the associated nuances of social and/ or cultural relevance in context, hunger still is more encompassing an idea than what we understand it as. In fact so multifaceted a sensation is hunger in all its related components that it might not be quite dubious to declare that more often than not hunger is only indirectly alluding of a physical need for food. Stemming out of such ‘requirements’ that entail from different parts of the body and different awarenesses as well of the being is this potent power of hunger that asserts itself therefore also across as striking mannerisms of occurrence in both sense and sensation.
Primally indeed hunger is that physical feel of a rumbling and growling stomach and one that extends, depending on its intensity to trigger also feelings arising out of symptomsof many other kinds. Whether that be experienced in the form of fatigue and weakness or a lack of concentration or a certain mood in grumpiness as notoriously bothering in what the funky sounding ‘hangry’ connotation points to, these innate arising of the hunger pangs are what sum up the hungry feels in their most explicit meaning. This establishes therefore hunger as something that isn’t merely a concern of that body part instantly linked with the ingestion of food as a ‘cure’ for being hungry. The stomach indeed is where hunger makes known its intention for an intake of food but the awareness of it in this particularly well understood context would surely not be a thing of so much bother if it wasn’t for the most important organ of the human body. It in fact is the all important expanse of the brain that acts as the ground for the hungry might to play out and through which one becomes aware of that feel of hunger characterising their being at that moment. Triggering the brain though is a hormone secreted in the stomach, specifically the hunger hormone scientifically known as ghrelin, that which not just signals hunger to the brain to incite the individual into such course of action satiating of that stimuli but also prepares the body for the food intake to follow by increasing the appetite for it.
Interestingly though, this very accounting for the concept of appetite so intricately associated with eating is what also helps manifest hunger as not exclusively a physical sensation but a larger awareness nestled in more holistic a scheme of things. A desire for food still but one triggered by the senses is what makes appetite a concept in tricky meanderings. And in its invariable association with hunger but in a manner not restricted to the realm of a rumbling reiteration, this specific desire for food that takes into consideration the specific connection harboured by each and every of the bodily organs is what leaves one hungry beyond even optimal levels of what the food intake should amount to. And thus emerges types and kinds of hunger that invite indeed the same appetising fore of the food to titillate the senses while serving the sensations but in such manners that can have dynamic impact upon the eating behavior and overall health of those submitting to this desire in instant gratification. As therefore a feeling from which entails a host of factors accounting for individual human wellness accruing from that substance summing up sustenance in general, hunger is too evolved an awareness in the bearing of life to pass off as that simple act in chewing and swallowing.
There perhaps is hardly any such body part that steers clear from the stirring of the hunger sentiment. But even interestingly, this hungry connotation covers also such aspects of human doing that do not necessarily even occur as essential life activities. Furthermore encompassing of the wide range of the emotional spectrum as well is the hunger demon that finds pursuing across routes ranging from the happy and the celebratory to the sad and the stressful and everything in between. Needless to say then that in being an entity so absorbing of virtually every aspect of life and living, hunger is anything but a mere mandate in eating for survival and sustenance, or even in just eating at all.
The action that hunger calls for, that is the activity in eating also tends to be as multifarious itself, validating therefore the already scheming surreptitiousness of which hunger is shrewdly basking in. It’s a fact that anything that looks appetising or is visually stimulating that is to say induces hunger though not in the pangs of it. So true is the notion of eating with the eyes first that lets hunger to assert this sensation in feeling through that exact medium of the sensory. Thus we have visual hunger, that desire to eat triggered by droolworthy images of the most impeccably plated foods and preparations reiterated through such rampant devices in deliverance as social media groups and digital platforms, impactful depiction in ads across both print and electronic media or even the capture bae sent you to earn all the raving praise impacting so profoundly upon your brain that overrules the role that the stomach might play in inducing the hunger awareness. No less pertinent and potent is the hunger arising out of such expanse of the senses that are at par with the eyes, both in their place of seating as well as in their functioning in this particular regard. Corresponding to the nose and the ears respectively would be such awareness of hunger stimulated by that wafting aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread or the heightened auditory resonance of biting into a perfectly crispy piece of toast that sends you to experience such acute manifestation of the hunger syndrome relieved only when you take that similar route in munching and crunching upon and biting and savouring that taste in immensely appetising relish.
Beyond such physical prompts leading to exploring the hunger horizon in as expansive a manner as possible, there also is the residing in being hungry across the emotional element of even intense stirring. Falling upon that bittersweet state of the immensely arousing kind that what one poetically exalts as the ultimate experience of nostalgia, this trigger of such basis that stems from the heart is another equally likely factor driving the human desire for food. Whether it be craving for foods with deep attachment to that particular period in life when festivals definitely meant elaborate spreads of all things sinful or actually finding oneself in that gastronomic haven out of say that long due homecoming when your mother piles your plate with more than a year’s worth of delicacies, this arousing in very heartening irresistibleness is all the more definite a succumbing to the hunger narrative since it feeds one indeed in both the heart and soul and the stomach and mouth of them as well.
Of other such emotional leanings in which the being hungry prerogative takes upon a meaning beyond what it should allude to in the most literal description of this strong ‘force’ of life would be such occurrences in a rather striking universal frequency so as to even find categorisation as a definite form of eating. Referred to as emotional eating and that which includes everything from an appetite stirred by ecstatic joy to indulging in comfort food as a coping mechanism against a host of negative emotions but understood mostly in a not so favourable assertion of how it should be, this distraction afforded by the act of eating is what entails out of a hunger in emotional essence. Even as responses to the many overwhelming awarenesses of emotion say one that occurs as a stressed assertion or such instances that present as boredom in case of an underwhelming existence, hunger is as likely to triumph over the oft lauded human sense of reasoning in employing its broader nature in being. Even specific situations and events might ‘demand’ that the hunger pangs return to rule, like in cases when you absolutely have to munch on a big bowl of popcorn while engrossed in the latest flick on TV or in adhering to the routine of definitely enjoying your evening cuppa with a couple of snacks to pair it up with. Stimulated by nothing substantial in particular but occurring still as no lesser emphatic a type of hunger that leads us to eat just because, such derivatives of the mind and the heart is what makes the being hungry feeling more a matter of fiction than fact and therefore one more catered to in the sheer pleasure of its fulfilment.
Then there also is the taste hunger that refers to that so oft experienced bouts of craving for something specific. Whether that something be such foods really delicious and indulgent and one among your favorites or those that you suddenly have a yearning for in the mere mouthfeel of them in texture or flavor, this eating for the tastebuds means that your hunger is one not really real but something more ‘sinister’ passing off as that humble hinging on the hunger platform. Another more interesting form of hunger happens to be what can command understanding as necessity hunger. This means eating beforehand in anticipation of the hunger pangs to follow at a time and moment when one would not have access to the luxury of food. Somewhat related to this peculiar feeling of hunger in anticipation of it would be the more wholesome and more necessary attending to the pangs of nutrient hunger. Occurring as a response to the deficiency of some vital vitamins and minerals or nutrients is this hunger that the bodily mechanism induces to drive us to feed ourselves with such foods that contain those nutrients we are low on. This explains why we crave at times such foods that are more nutritious than sumptuous so that the goals of nourishment that food and by derivation therefore the desire for food or hunger strives to deliver first and foremost are met. In being a mode of deliverance across this aspect and such other similar entailings in physical hunger, the universal human desire for food stand up to the fact of food being the fuel on which life sustains. Beyond that though, most other forms of hunger are tricks by and upon the highly imaginative fore of the human mind. Knowing when to attend to the actual hunger pangs and to what extent to indulge the pseudo feels of it is so very crucial a matter in eating one’s way to a life healthy enough in its hearty appetite.