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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

“Your body needs red meat.”

“Don’t eat that. It has palm oil and they’re deforesting orangutan habitats for palm oil.”

“Hon, that gives you gas.”

“Oh my gawd, you Americans eat SO much.”

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Photo by Ryan Concepcion on Unsplash

Oh my gawd is right. Everyone has an opinion on my eating habits. Too little. Too much. Too non-PC. Too PC. Is there any doubt why my relationship (and probably yours) with food is convoluted and unsettled when the food police are watching every forkful?

Photo by King's Church International on Unsplash

I belong firmly to the Eat to Live group of anarchists. It doesn’t sit well with the Live to Eat group of food bourgeoisie that make up our community at large. It’s got to be some kind of food disorder, they say as they shake their heads and pass their plates. Or they make fun of my food choices. “She loves those veggie burgers.”

WTF! How is that acceptable? I don’t care what YOU eat. It’s your choice. But why is it also your choice to decide what I eat?

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Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

To quote Pete in O Brother Where Art Thou “That don’t make no sense.” [head scratch]

Maybe it’s because the relationship most of us have with food is so damn complicated.

And related to the bio imperative of nourishment.

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Photo by Cherylyn Ang on Unsplash

Eating is also one of the few activities that we do multiple times a day. We eat almost as often as we check our Instagram. Well, maybe not that often but often enough that it’s always on our mind. If you’re attached to another human or in a human pod, food is probably number 2 on your agenda (after checking your email and texts) because let’s face it, we’re all just about an inch away from starving to death.

Clearly not. Maybe never in our lifetimes will we experience real hunger like too many parts of the world but that doesn’t stop all of us from imagining empty cupboards and refrigerators like it could be reality.

Even during this pandemic when we were running out of toilet paper, there was still enough food for most of us to survive for the next 20 years.

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Photo by KWON JUNHO on Unsplash

So granted, it’s an instinct to want to perpetuate our survival by eating. But the degree of focus that we shine on food is astonishing.

I get it. Kinda. Sorta. And that’s fine. Your life. Your stomach.

Just don’t be staring at my plate and schooling me about my food choices.

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Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

That’s all. Over and out.

Diana Webster is an expert on human behavior. But only her own. She wants to help the world laugh more, stress less, and live in joy and kindness.

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