Ahh food, we fatties just can’t get enough of it, can we?
I have always had a love/hate relationship with food. Being someone who is highly sensory (particularly tactile, taste and smell) means that food can give me a whole lot of pleasure. But being a fat woman, in a body that she has fought against for most of her life, food has also been fraught with peril for me in my past. Food was the enemy for most of my life until recently. I still have some serious issues with it, but I’m working through those. It’s no secret that I have a lifetime of eating disorders behind me, with yo-yo dieting, starvation periods and a lot of food demonisation. Food for me was the bad guy. Either food in general or specific foods, for the bulk of my life, I’ve had some beef with food (see what I did there?)
While I still struggle with the food demons, they don’t win any more. They pop up, give me some curry (oh lawdy I did it again!) and I chase them away with a whole bunch of strategies I have built up over time. I might even blog about those later.
Today though, I want to talk about a few particular issues I have with the way a whole lot of people, including myself in the past, think about food. So let’s get into it huh?
This *insert food* is so sinful.
Oh that old chestnut (somebody stop me!) Here’s the thing. Food has no moral value. It doesn’t think, it doesn’t do or behave or respond. It’s just food. You actually aren’t going to go to hell if you eat it. Or if you don’t eat it for that matter. Nor is the world going to stop spinning, the oceans boil over or a lightning bolt hit you from the sky. Food is either of use to you (because it fills your belly, or tastes good, or gives you nutrients, or makes you feel good, or whatever other use it may carry out) or it isn’t. Either eat it, or don’t. But don’t moralise or demonise it because all that does is cast judgement on those who do eat it.
Oh *insert food* can barely be called food.
Really? Is it edible? Then it’s food. You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to. But you don’t need to judge other people for eating it.
Cooking for yourself and your family is showing them love.
This one really gets to me too. Yes, cooking for people, including yourself, can be showing them love and affection. But if someone doesn’t cook, for whatever reasons, perhaps they don’t know how or don’t have time, or just hate it, doesn’t mean they don’t love their family or themselves.
Do you really need that *insert food*?
No, I don’t. I just want it. Or maybe I do need it. Either way, it’s none of your damn business.
Tsk! Can you believe people still eat/feed their kids McDonalds/KFC/*insert fast food brand*?
Yes I can. It’s cheap. It fills you up. It tastes good. It’s easy to obtain with no preparation needed. IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
Everybody knows that raw/whole foods are so much more nutritionally valuable/taste better.
No they don’t. Just because you’ve read that, doesn’t mean everyone else has. Maybe they don’t have access to the internet or fancy cable TV programmes. Maybe they don’t have time to watch Jamie Oliver or Michael Pollan or any other food “educator”. Perhaps they do know, but they don’t have raw/whole available to them. Perhaps they don’t like the taste. Perhaps all of their friends and family eat processed food, and they’ve never tasted anything else. Perhaps they just prefer the damn box of Mac ‘n Cheese to the organically and locally grown beets, hormone-free chicken and raw milk. Wait for it… wait for it… IT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!
Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup/any other food for that matter is poison.
Maybe. But so is parsley. Just ask a chicken. Or onions. Ask a dog. Or lettuce. Ask me. If it makes you sick, don’t eat it. But don’t judge other people for choosing to eat it.
I’ve been good all week, so I can have that piece of *insert food here*.
So are you saying those people who haven’t done as much exercise or avoided eating certain foods can’t have a piece? Remember, your measurement of “deserving” isn’t the same as other peoples. Just have the food or don’t, there’s no need to put moral value on it.
Oh no thanks, I’ll just watch you eat it.
This one really, really burns my bread (stop it Kath, just stop it). Not only is it rude, it’s really insensitive. Having people watch me eat is really triggering and puts me off my food in a matter of moments. Even when they’re not intentionally doing it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many people, especially those with eating disorders in their past, have had their eating scrutinised to the nth degree and don’t need someone sitting there ogling them while they eat. Leave them alone and let them eat in peace. Either you enjoy their company and be damned what they eat, or leave them alone.
I ate SOOOOO much! I’m such a pig!
Way to cast indirect judgement on what others eat as well. Ok so you ate too much, it happens, maybe now you feel sick/bloaty/uncomfortable. But keep the judgement out of it. You’re not a pig, nor is anyone else who eats too much.
Locally grown food is so much cheaper than anything else, you just have to make effort to get it. Don’t be lazy.
Not everyone is able to spare the time, energy and effort to source locally grown food. Perhaps they work long hours. Maybe they don’t have transport. Perhaps parking is expensive. Maybe they can’t stand crowded places. Or perhaps they just prefer the stuff they can get at their local major supermarket. That doesn’t mean they’re lazy or deserve judgement for choosing to do so.
These are just a few of the food judgements that really drive me nuts. And yet I used to indulge in them myself. Some of them still sneak up on me occasionally, when I’m tired or upset or stressed or my self esteem is wavering. But doing them to oneself is one thing. Casting these judgements on others is a whole different kettle of fish (oh look, it happened again) and people who do this just have to butt the hell out of other people’s lives. As I’ve said several times above, what other people eat or don’t eat is not any of your damn business. If you want to restrict, eliminate, diet, whatever, go for it. It’s your body and you get to choose how you feed it. I believe strongly in body autonomy and don’t believe I have any right to tell people how to eat (or not eat).
It’s when those choices are touted as the “right” way to eat that gets my hackles up. There is no right or wrong way. There is your way, sometimes it matches others’ way, sometimes it doesn’t. Keep your judgement and moralising out of other people’s lives and bodies.
What are your pet peeves with the food police and privileged “foodies”? Do you have any strategies for responding to them or cutting out the judgement that is placed on food? Share in the comments below.