Stopping Popping

I’ve quipped before that I am addicted to Pringles. Once I pop, I can’t stop. When they have been in the house, I have resolved to eat only a handful that evening, but alas, several trips back to the kitchen have seen the tube finished off before bedtime. Seeing them reduced at Morrisons, I bought a tube or two last month, and have enjoyed munching on them. As usual, I was not able to eat them in moderation. I concede that we are not talking about crack cocaine here; eating too many Pringles will just likely result in a parched mouth and bloated belly. Yet I wondered at my lack of control. 

According to The Sun newspaper, Pringles are not crisps at all, with potato constituting only 42% of the whole. The rest is wheat starch, sunflower oil, maize oil and rice flour, as well as what our bodies most crave- sugar, fat and salt. Like drugs and alcohol, these ‘light up’ those areas of the brain which seek pleasure. Furthermore, particular flavours such as Barbecue and Paprika are coated in monosodium glutamate which trick the brain into thinking a source of protein is being consumed. Less scientifically, might it be the shape which makes them so moreish? They fit onto the tongue most conveniently, and their tubes are handy to transport, open and close. Or might their convenience be a factor? Here is a food which, unlike roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, requires no preparation other than the removing of a lid. I could gladly feast on a tube’s worth each night for my tea. No cooking, no washing up, more time for everything else. The vitamin deficiency would bite me in the end, but it might be another reason for the love I bear them.

So, should I blame their flavourings? Shape? Convenience? My own brain for being so susceptible? No, I blame me, the whole of me, not just my brain. It is a lack of self-control which renders Pringles so quickly eaten. The reading group recently pored over Paul Williams' Willing but Weak. One of his main points, which seemed to affect all others, is that self-control is at the heart of sanctification. If the will is subject to Christ, and our bodily wants subject to the will, then we shall live lives pleasing to God. The apostle ranks self control as a fruit of the Spirit in the true believer’s life:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23, NKJV)

I can hardly wrestle against principalities and powers, if I cannot control my own belly. I therefore bought another tube that week. They remain in the cupboard, unopened and uneaten. I will control myself.

It is not good to eat much honey;

So to seek one’s own glory is not glory.

Whoever has no rule over his own spirit

Is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:27-28, NKJV)

Image by Lothar Wandtner from Pixabay