Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eat YOUR Way

These days, there are many different approaches you can take in choosing what you eat. You may be convinced that you can best fuel your body by eating low carb, low fat, meat-free, HFCS-free, additive-free, gluten-free, raw, or prehistoric. Your ethics may lead you to chose to eat vegetarian, to maximize global food supplies, or vegan, so as not to cause suffering to other creatures. Concern for the environment may lead you to choose locally-produced items whenever possible or even to forage from what has been wasted by others. If your interest is in maximizing your culinary experience, you may insist on the freshest ingredients prepared to rigorous standards, or you may be concerned with cooking dishes that are authentic representations of foods eaten in other cultures.

I don't disrespect any of those choices. Science may eventually produce real guidance about what ways of eating are the healthiest, but it can't tell us what's most ethical or most delicious.

Each of these ways of eating has many adherents that live peaceably among us and have no interest in persuading the rest of us to make the same choices they have. But, the times being what they are, each way of eating also has some adherents that believe that their way is the only valid way, that feel (and express) superiority to the rest of us. And it's the shrill voices of the latter group that are most easily heard in the cacaphony.

Here's my point:

Don't be bullied.

If the way you've chosen to eat seems right to you and to whoever you've chosen to advise you, go for it, and ignore the people who want to put you down for it. Those eating in other ways are entitled to choose their own meals.

But they're not entitled to choose yours.

(Note: edited 2/22/11 7:15 to make a small correction.)


  1. Great thoughts. Sometimes, though, our diets are determined by our pocketbooks and our families. A person with $5, little time to cook, and a family of 4 to feed may end up with canned beans and white rice instead of chicken breast and mixed-greens salad. Another family may have to avoid nuts entirely because a parent or child is allergic to them...

  2. Exactly. Thank you.

  3. Brenda: You're fight, of course: economics and allergies are big factors. Additionally, many folks have dislikes so strong that they're similar to allergies for practical purposes.

    One of the things I was thinking of specifically as I wrote this was how the TV cooking shows aimed at typical families get absolutely BLASTED on some of the food forums - as if there was something wrong with helping struggling families provide healthier, tastier food for themselves.

  4. What a great reminder. I agree that there are those who preach and seem to take a superior attitude regarding the way they eat. I have to admit I don't always make the healthiest food choices - but then again, I often do. I try to buy organic when I can, I am working hard to find more vegetables that I like - and yes, I enjoy some "junk food" at times too. Next time I feel guilty about that last fact, I will remember this post and feel a little bit better. Thank you!!


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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.