No Bad Food

With the holidays upon us, I just want to remind everyone there is no such thing as bad food or good food.  It’s just food.  You may like something; you may detest something.  But whatever you think about food, remember it’s your opinion not an objective judgment on the goodness or badness of a food..

Chances are during the holidays some friend or family member is going to start in on their “diet talk” and about how bad they were, or how bad some food is. 

Go ahead and ask them, what makes a food bad?  Did it do something awful?  Is it thoughtless or cruel?  (Please let me know what they say!)

How do you punish bad food?  I guess, by not eating it.  So, you reward good food by eating it?  Hmmmm, sounds like I’d much rather be bad food.

Seriously, the only way food is “bad” is if it causes a medical reaction for an individual.  The term, food going “bad”, simply means that it has spoiled and may make you ill if you ingest it. 

What makes a person who eats a certain food bad?  Did they inflict pain?  (Well, maybe if they took the last piece of chocolate – the bastard!)  Did they commit a crime? 

I will agree that food can make you feel “good” – because certain foods cause chemical reactions in our bodies that our bodies interpret as pleasure (like chocolate).  Otherwise, food cannot make you feel good or bad.  You and your connection to that food are what make you feel good or bad. 

All the emotions we attach to food can get in the way of enjoying what we eat; and enjoying the process of eating, and the good company with whom we share food.  So even if you can’t stop Aunt Petunia from bemoaning that extra cup of egg nog, you can help her out by drinking it yourself – or better yet, convince her that food is not the enemy and you can both toast to a happier more self-accepting new year!

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13 thoughts on “No Bad Food

  1. I am afraid that Heather obviously believes in ‘bad food’. Some people think fast food is evil; it isn’t. It is just food, pork in this case, which contains perfectly good nutrients. Too often we permit ourselves to be brainwashed by the culture & the media into believing that some foods have great virtue, while others are ‘sinful’ or ‘bad for us.’ ALL foods have nutrients, all foods, unless spoiled, contaminated in some way, or an allergen for an individual, are ‘good foods.’ It is perfectly okay not to LIKE certain foods or to not think fast foods taste especially good, but they ARE food. The McRib, btw, has once again gone the way of the Dodo bird. It ceased to be available last Monday.

    As an anecdotal aside, my grandmother, who lived to be 90, & my mother, who died at 85 (both fat women, btw) both loved to eat at McDonalds, as indeed did many people, women in particular, of their generations, who spent years devoting hours daily to cooking everything from scratch. I am amazed, in reading human interest stories about old people, at how often they list Big Macs, KFC, & Twinkies as their favorite foods. I am not about to post pitchforks at the doors of any eating establishment or food manufacturer.

    • I am assuming that Heather is making a joke. I would not approve her post otherwise.

      But you are absolutely right. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with “fast food”. It is food. Including the McRib sandwich. Which, I might add, is still available in our area.

      Personally, I think “fast food” provides a great service. There is food available at a price most everyone can afford, is convenient, tastes good (to many people) and provides nutrition. Whether a person does or does not prefer to eat “fast food” is a personal choice based on personal taste. I get so tired of the “witch hunts” that get started from time to time against “fast food” places, headed by people who want to “protect” us all from the “bad” food and who (apparently) have too much time on their hands.

  2. Amen, Terri. I am so fed up with all the ‘nannying’ in this culture. I will have to ask my d-i-l about the McRib, she is a manager at a local Mickey D’s & had told me that they were taking it off the menu on December 6th. Perhaps it sold well & they decided to extend its availability. Or perhaps the owner of these stores in this area took it off the menu & other stores did not.

    It angers & worries me to see the messages sent to us all, especially children, when, in a time when we are ‘fatter’ than ever & supposedly eating too much ‘bad’ food, people in general are also healthier & living longer than ever. I remember someone years ago on an FA forum going on about how she was protecting her health by eating a ‘Paleolithic diet’. That was a head-scratcher for me, since Paleolithic people had a lifespan of 35-40 years, not something I personally would care to emulate. People do need to get a life, our culture needs to get the message that our bodies are our own, not public property, & that adults do not need to be lectured about their eating/exercise habits, etc., or have strangers grab foods out of their hands or their grocery carts. Whatever happened to minding one’s own business & ‘live & let live’? That attitude seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur, who, btw, did not become extinct because of fast food, unless his food ran too fast for him to catch it.

  3. Thank you so much for this post. In a week where I tried to respectfully explain to someone that demonising a food, or suggesting a food is not “worthy of respect” is giving that food too much power, and received nothing but abuse and ridicule in return, instead of discussion, until I was so angry at the bullying, it’s wonderful to read some sense here.

    Even though I know rationally that food is not the enemy, it has no moral value, and has no personality traits, I still struggle with the demons of my eating disorder. I still hear those little recordings that say “If you die of a heart attack, you deserve it, you shouldn’t have eaten that bread/sausage/cheese/whatever.” and so on.

    To read a post like this is truly a soothing balm for someone like me, in recovery from a lifetime of food related disordered thinking.

  4. Great blog. I’ve just discovered it and am enjoying your posts.

    I’ll put my head above the parapet, though, and say that I DO believe there are ‘bad’ foods. Morally bad, not for the person who consumes them, but for the bastards who make them.

    Case in point: I was in London over Christmas and didn’t feel like paying an outrageous amount for lunch, so I stopped for a sandwich. The sandwich package said it was ‘smoked ham and honey mustard’. Sounded great. Until I turned over the package and read the teeny tiny print.

    The sandwich was actually made of mechanically recovered meat plumped up with saline solution and then doused in chemicals to mimic true smoke flavour. The whole thing was a trick and a lie. As was the drink I purchased called ‘Healthy Thirst – Pink Ginger’. Hey, I love ginger! I was looking forward to drinking it. Except it wasn’t a ginger drink at all. It was a drink of grape juice with some lab-created flavouring in it.

    If I go into KFC or McDonalds, I know perfectly well what they’re serving and I don’t feel any guilt about eating it. But if I reach for something that sells itself as being healthy and tasty, and in fact it’s some lab-created horror, then yes, I think it’s ‘bad’. The people who eat it shouldn’t feel guilty – but the corporate executives who set out to trick people like this should be horse whipped through the streets. That’d larn ’em.

    • Unless I am making something myself, from scratch, I never assume I know what is in something. I don’t knock the corps – they put in what they think will make it “tasty” (that’s their business); as long as it’s labeled, it’s our job to read the label.

      Besides, I lived in Los Angeles for almost 20 years, if the air and water there didn’t kill me; I figure nothing will!

      • Hi Tanterri,

        I get what you’re saying about personal responsibility. I guess partly what happened to me was culture shock. I live in Germany (I’m not German – just live here), where there are very strict labelling laws – the thing has to be what it says on the packet. So if it says ‘sausage’, it has to be 80% meat and if it says it’s a ham sandwich, it has to be real ham on real bread. Going back into an English speaking culture literally horrified me, that I was expected to have a degree of nutrition and read the little weeny print before I could eat anything.

        It was the feeling of being tricked that upset me the most – that I could reach for what I thought was going to be something like ginger beer, which I love, only to find out it was some nasty grape substitute.

        I want to emphasise I’m not an anti-fast food dieting type. I just wanted to be able to buy things that were actually what they said they were and I ended up being angry and puzzled by things that looked and sounded great, but which were just tricks. So I guess I’m in the ‘knock the corporates’ camp. Or maybe I’m actually in the ‘change the labelling laws’ camp. I’ll have to think about it…

        Alexie

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