We need to change some of our language surrounding food.
I do my best not to use the words “good” and “bad” when talking about food. Except when something doesn’t pass the sniff test. Then it’s bad.
“Good” could describe tastiness, it could describe healthiness, it could describe virtuousness.
We’ve made some unfortunate connections between those three things.
If it’s healthy, it’s not tasty, but it’s virtuous. If it’s tasty, it’s unhealthy and transgressive, unless it’s a reward, then it’s not transgressive…unless it’s too big a reward—then it’s transgressive again.
You know those things don’t inherently connect like that, right?
Let’s quickly pick apart those three things.
You like how it tastes or you don’t. (Or sort of do, or like it in small quantities, then that’s enough, or wherever it lands on the yummy continuum.) This is completely subjective.
It provides nutrients, vitamins, minerals, water that are necessary for optimal body functioning without providing too much (or any) of other substances that are unnecessary and/or toxic.
There is some variation in this because people have different sensitivities and allergies to foods, but there are some basic things that all bodies need.
This is a cultural thing and is completely tied to the first two, but only because we tied them together.
Because the virtue is tied in, when we want to rebel, we can eat a bunch of food that makes us feel physically sick but emotionally satisfied. We can do that often enough that we don’t feel physically sick any more when we do it, but the emotional ties are still there.
Because of all of this, and because of the additional boatloads of baggage emotionally connected to food, I do my best to be specific.
“This food is tasty.”
“I’d like to find something healthy.”
And I do my best to take the virtue out.
What I eat either moves me towards my goals or it doesn’t. Or it doesn’t but I’ve made a decision to let that go for whatever reason.
There’s no use in eating something and feeling guilty about it. Either eat it and enjoy it, or don’t eat it. But that’s starting a new thread for another day…