Food and Culture

This is perhaps the first and last time I write about food on my blog. I do like to eat (certain things). I enjoy baking. Cooking is sometimes fun. But I don’t like obsessing about food.

However, the particular group of moms in the breakroom during second hour of our homeschool co-op are the type that obsess about food. And I get to listen to them. It becomes horrific. I have found out that cow milk isn’t good enough. However, it is up in the air whether almond milk or coconut milk are any better. Americans in general have the absolute worst diet possible. (As far as I know we’re all American in this little breakroom.) Sugar messes up children’s brains. I have learned extensively about seaweed, sushi, and the perils of Worcestershire sauce. I have come to a greater understanding of what the word “gluten” means. I learned what coconut oil is and that some people use it to the extent that they buy it in bulk. I have become ashamed that I don’t have a food allergy in my family.

Now, for those who honestly get sick from certain foods, I completely understand that you need to pay strict attention to your diet. I get that. I don’t get the people who strive for nutrition-perfection by following the same rules as those who have the allergies. There is this desire to return to the diets of our forefathers, the homesteaders who lived before prepackaged food. I’m not the homesteading type. I like my Pick N Save grocery store. I share a garden, but I don’t do the canning thing. I don’t like pickled things. My family doesn’t eat soup much. We don’t really want chickens on our farm. We like grocery store food. This homesteading idea doesn’t jive very well with the natural food trend because much of the natural food items people long for are exotic and need to be bought at special stores.

Someone can go to some far away country and come back to America saying how much healthier that other country eats. But isn’t that just it? We live in different cultures. If I ever go to China maybe I’ll try the rice soup with peanuts floating in it. But I live here, in the land of cheeseburgers and Pepsi. Apple pie. Frozen pizzas. French fries. Enriched white bread. Lots of meat. I eat these things. It’s my culture. I don’t have the great ambition to change my culture and the food that is a part of it. My ambitions run along different lines. Therefore, I pledge to not be bothered by these strange food trends. I pledge to put food issues on a back burner. I will eat what I eat. I will concentrate on the things I really sincerely care about. I will never again cry over a glass of cow milk and all it might imply.

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