The religion of… Food?

On Facebook, a friend posted this the other day:

Folks, we gotta talk about this.

I believe in eating natural, wholesome foods.

Organic-yes.

Raw-yes.

Fruits and vegetables-of course.

But $20 peanut butter?

Come on, now.

I have eaten the item in the photo before. And it wasn’t $20. I think it was five or six bucks.

The question begs to be asked: are we getting played?

How far are we going to go with this “organic” revolution?

I’m not judging anyone. I have been guilty of being in way too deep with this thing. At one point, everything had to be “organic”-that didn’t matter if it was a fruit, a vegetable, juice….or even peanut butter.

But if I’m honest, I was miserable.

I was living in a perpetual state of fear. Food became my enemy. It became a religion. The Holy Grail became the farmer’s market – or if you live where I live, it was the food co-op. Bottom line, the supermarket was evil and if you ate anything  that wasn’t labeled ‘organic’ you were eating pesticides, preservatives, and a whole slew of things that were going to kill you…

Now, there is different levels to this “food religion”. The higher you go, the less you are allowed to eat and the more guilty you feel about what you do eat. You also become alienated from family and friends, the “food snob” who will not eat the ‘poison’ that they shovel into their mouths. The implication is that you are somehow superior to them because you eat a certain way.

And then there is the endless myriad of health gurus:

One says eat only raw fruits and vegetables.

Another says you can cook, but it has to be fresh fruits and vegetables-nothing out of a can or frozen.

Then another says frozen is better than canned, because it preserves nutrients….

And then someone else comes in and says eating lean meat is okay for the protein…

And then in comes the next ‘expert’ expounding on proteins verses carbs.

And when you get to the top of the pyramid, well…even raw, organic fruits are evil. Most vegetables – like carrots and potatoes and even most herbs-are a genetically mixed breed of vegetables or fruits and are incompatible with the human body!

That’s when I got off the ride.

All this so-called information put me in a state of fear: fear I was always eating the wrong food, fear I was being poisoned with chemicals like pesticides. And on the limited income I was on, I never had enough to purchase the high-priced ‘organic’ ‘raw’ or ‘all- natural’ food items that I so desperately needed to be ‘healthy’. Like I said, a state of fear and misery. It was never enough. Every time I think I was making progress, another guru would pop up and say that I was wrong and that I needed to do more…

Remember the ‘all-natural’ (if it’s a food, isn’t it already all-natural by design?) and the ‘unsaturated fat’ craze? I’m starting to think that the whole ‘organic’ thing is from the same marketing playbook. After all, if you label something ‘organic’ you can hike up the price (taking us back to a $20 jar of peanut butter…)

As a home-based writer, food is a big topic. I’m home most of the day, and so the food I eat is in my kitchen. It’s easy when you work at home to snack excessively on whatever is sweet or crunchy – and easily accessible. (I suppose the same is true if you work anywhere) But at home, I have more flexibility-and more time to think critically about these things without someone looking over my shoulder to meet a deadline. 

At the end of the day, I know that I want to be healthy.

But I want to be happy, too.

The reality is that our bodies will tell us directly what we should or shouldn’t be eating. That should never come from an outside source.

For example, food with high sodium content affects my body very negatively, so I look at the sodium level on food labels.

Many of us desire the same thing. But let’s make it an individual journey with individual food choices without the judgments and religious fervor, please…and thank you.

And if anyone sees ‘organic bacon’ send me a link, because now they’re really just playing with us.

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