Dear Jonny, Chocolate And Cheese…
This is sort of a weird question but here goes. Lately my wife and I have been having some major problems in the relationship department. We’re doing what we can to deal with them (seeing a couple’s therapist) but something really strange has been going on for the last few weeks. Cindy (not her real name) has been eating a ton, and I mean A TON, of chocolate and cheese. More than you would ever believe, ALL the time. What the hell is going on there?
– Wish To Remain Anonymous
Dear Wishes To Remain Anonymous,
Well, among other things, chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is supposedly the same chemical your brain produces when you fall in love. Eating chocolate increases endorphin and serotonin levels, neurotransmitters that have a “feel good” effect. As for cheese, it contains casomorphin, which is an opioid. That said, if your wife has, over the last few weeks, been eating prodigious amounts of both chocolate and cheese, my guess is: She’s attempting to reverse the cascade of depressive feelings that have manifested themselves in the midst of your recent relationship troubles. In all likelihood she is consciously unaware of the reasoning behind her retreat into these “comfort foods,” but the fact that she’s been ingesting them consistently and copiously suggests they are indeed having some influence over her mental state. I’ll venture to guess that her curious habit will subside when/if you two reach some sort of resolution. At that point, with emotional equilibrium restored, she’ll no longer need her fix. If, however, I’m wrong – if she doesn’t quit – she will almost certainly grow very fat. At least she’ll be high.