Food & Entropy



Entropy and food? Yeah we’re going there today.

So I like foodie things, probably more than I should since I do tend to blow my budget on gourmet cheeses and fancy chocolate bars a bit too often. I know how to pair nearly any wine with the right meats. The last time I made pizza it was a pesto and pancetta pizza topped with red onions and heirloom tomatoes because… amazing! So when I eat I tend to do it with flair. I plate my food because I find it more appetizing that way. So what does my love of food have to do with the scientific principle of entropy? Well, it’s not too complicated but a few days ago I was making my breakfast (poached eggs, bacon, and green grapes) and I was thinking to myself. Why do I put in this effort I create something beautiful and then destroy it? Why what does that say about me? What does that say about the world? Human nature? Why create order then destroy it? Yes, we need food to survive but isn’t there something being lost when we create disorder?

So yeah, I was having one of those moments then it clicked.  Science was the answer! so I don’t know much about physics other than an elementary learning from my astronomy class but I do remember entropy, mostly because the concept made me feel somewhat sad. Why, well to me creating is the one function that connects us as humans but entropy –at least in my opinion– makes it so that nothing last forever and therefore disconnects us.

So my philosophical melancholy aside I was thinking about the death of my creation and of all creations.  Then a saying from a podcast popped into my head. Memento Mori. don’t forget that you are going to die. Granted it was said jokingly, but all things die. All things hold the shared experience of death in some form or another. Now, whatever philosophical leanings you have all things transcend their original forms by the breakdown of their original structures whether that means a mountain turning to sand or trees and other organics breaking down into carbon. If you are religious the transcendence is more of the separation of spirit from body, but I don’t feel qualified to talk about that. Now because things break down into other things and recombine into new structures that then break down again (so on and so forth) you see this as a familiar pattern in an ever changing world, the one true constant. And to me that is beautiful.

Have you ever heard of the zero rule in life? maybe not. You see someone once told me “life has no rules except the zero rule: all things are subject to change.” And because my life has been so crazy I kind of found it to be the defacto law of life. Nothing is more or less obvious than that. People change, the world revolves, the rain will come next spring. It is no different than knowing that you don’t have to remember to breathe, it just comes naturally.

So why then does entropy make me sad? Because I view change as death. And death to creativity is always a loss in my mind. But it’s not. I know that when something breaks down it makes room for new, I will miss what was, but I will look forward to will be.


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