The Hierarchy of Breakfast Needs, or: Fun with Food Pyramids

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Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 5:50 AM

click to enlarge The Hierarchy of Breakfast Needs - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • The Hierarchy of Breakfast Needs
If you paid attention during your college Psychology 101 college class, you may now vaguely recall Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. That is, because "man is a perpetually wanting animal," Maslow theorized that we're motivated by five needs: Survival, safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. "The appearance of one need," Maslow explains, "Usually rests on the prior satisfaction of another, more pre-potent need."

As our personal theory of human motivation revolves primarily around food, we decided to take Maslow's hierarchy and apply it to the most important meal of the day: Breakfast. For a new food pyramid of sorts, turn the page.

click to enlarge Espresso - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Espresso

Level 1. The Need to Survive, or: Coffee

"If all the needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is then dominated by the physiological needs, all other needs may become simply non-existent or be pushed into the background." -- Abraham Maslow

If nothing else, coffee. Because you likely can forego the toast and jam and survive until lunchtime, but the same cannot be said about skipping the caffeine.

click to enlarge Fig's lemon ricotta pancake - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Fig's lemon ricotta pancake

Level 2. The Need for Safety, or: Pancakes

"Just as a sated man no longer feels hungry, a safe man no longer feels endangered." -- Abraham Maslow

Once the coffee has percolated and you have been properly caffeinated, your attention will turn to food. Maslow notes that the need for safety includes a "common preference for familiar rather than unfamiliar things, or for the known rather than the unknown," which explains why your thoughts may now gravitate towards fuzzy, happy childhood memories of Sunday morning pancakes drenched in sticky syrup and melting pats of butter. That said, those who find safety not in Kodak moments but in abundance will find comfort in the huge portions at The Griddle Cafe.

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