We Don’t Know Shit About Food

“[T]he thinkings and unthinkings and giving and taking of the diet industry and numerous health experts and peer-reviewed journals and your mom and my mom and that guy over there and your yoga instructor have turned into a veritable cluster fuck of information that all circles around food, but never actually settles down to just talk about it. It’s quickly leading me to believe that we literally (in the actual sense of the word) don’t know shit about food.” – Nikki Steele, “We Don’t Know Sh** About Food, Do We?” on Food Riot

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m about to give up on food and just consume Soylent for the foreseeable rest-of-my-life.  Keeping up on “this is bad for you” and “that is bad for you” is like standing with one foot each on a Volvo semi-truck, but without the balance and flexibility of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s stunt double.  No matter what, you’re going to fail, and you have no idea how horrible the consequences might be. For all I know, they’ll come back in a year and tell me Soylent is bad for me too (but at least this version isn’t made of people).

I hear I’m supposed to drink water all day—but plastic is bad for me (and even worse for the environment).  I should make my own meals instead of buying so much fast food—but don’t even think of microwaving that in plastic Tupperware.  Don’t you know you’re supposed slowly heat everything up on the stove, dirtying a pan, a spatula, a pair of tongs, a plate, and a fork and knife?  But, by the way, your city is in a drought, so don’t overuse water when you clean all those dishes.

And that’s just how you eat.  Don’t even get your mother, brother, cousin, mailperson, dog, registered dietician started on what you eat.  Paleo and keto are all the rage (I can’t even tell how they’re supposedly different).  It’s like Atkins 2.0—I think.  For a carboholic like me, it’s hell: I tried giving carbs up for Lent a couple years ago, and it turned me into an angry ball of stress.  My friends highly encouraged me to quit a week early in order to preserve our relationships.

The only thing that’s obvious is that culture and society have fucked us up.  We’ve been encouraged at a young age to suppress our natural full indicator and “clean your plate, because children in Africa are starving.”  Our own food industry is more interested in a profit than in healthy consumers, so Lord Monsanto calls all the shots.  I change my mind on GMO foods every other week.  And, as a 20-something female, I’m pretty sure it’s physically impossible for me to achieve the idealized American femme fatale physique without seriously impacting the happiness I find in the bottom of a bowl of ice cream.

How do you deal with the information overload?  Do you have a resource with whom you entrust your health and happiness? Please enlighten me!

Meggyn Watkins is the Managing Editor of the UNDERenlightened. Fiction reader, local art prowler, concert-goer, BBC watcher, world traveler, and San Jose Sharks lover! @meggawat

Photo by Michelle White
Photo by Michelle White
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