Posted in Room and Board

Holier Than Chow

Diet and nutrition have been elevated to a passion equal to that of religion.  People don’t just share recipes for fun anymore.  They share recipes the way they pass out propaganda listing the benefits of a virtuous life.  The recipes include organic, locally grown ingredients, with instructions for storing it in an environmentally friendly method.  Cooking anything else for your family will guilt you down to a loathsome, uncaring, gluttonous scum of the earth.

lunch bagBack when Mom packed my lunch she bought white bread, spread on Miracle Whip, slapped a piece of bologna in it, then packed it up with Fritos and a pop.  (Read “soda” if you live outside Minnesota.)

That’s right.  My bread was not whole grain, my sandwich spread had lots of ingredients she couldn’t pronounce, and the lunchmeat — well, we don’t want to know.  The sandwich sat in a brown paper bag until it’s internal temperature was 87 degrees.  But boy, was it good with those Fritos tucked between the doughy-white slabs of Wonderbread!  To top it off, the packaging all got tossed in the trash because there was no such thing as recycling.

I’m not saying I want to go back to that, but eating food was fun.  You had to go to church if you wanted to feel guilty.  Not anymore.  There are food priests among us, folks.  These are people with deep-rooted beliefs who feel that if you are not eating what they are eating, you are doing yourself — NAY! The WORLD a grave disservice.

It is the food priest’s mission in life to save your nutritional soul, and lead you (kicking and screaming) to health.  But wait!  There is no eternal life, here.  We’re all dying in the end.  The goal is to die as healthily as possible — perhaps biking to Whole Foods.

saladThe rite of worship is the meal.  It is in the planning, buying, preparation and consumption.  Oblivious to other shoppers, meditation of labels takes place smack in the center of each isle.  Children are indoctrinated in front of the bananas, blocking all access from other food clergy and heathen alike.  Trips to organic farms are carried out like pilgrimages to the holy land.  The meal is consumed in solemn reverence of the plants that sacrificed their life.

Yummm . . . animal secretions . . .
Yummm . . . animal secretions . . .

The food priest also hears confession.  They use scary phrases such as “animal secretions” as euphemisms for wholesome sounding ingredients like eggs, milk, and honey.  “Refined sugar” equals cookies and muffins.

MMmmm . . . FLESH!
MMmmm . . . FLESH!

“Flesh” is the definition for roast beef or turkey breast.  The cuisine of our mothers is smugly called “Comfort Food” like a poisonous secret.  Sins are encouraged to be confessed using these terms, the worst of which is pink slime, and punishable by up to a full month of liquid detox diet.

Unsought counseling is very often the first indication that you have encountered a food priest.  You may experience unwelcome scrutiny over your cheeseburger with grilled onions and fries.  The evangelist may laughingly toss out the nickname of “foodie” as if adding an “e” to a word makes it harmless.  Druggy.  Achey breaky.  Owie.

In severe cases, you may be required to refrain from eating food prepared in certain establishments.  If it is suggested that you discard of kitchen utensils that have ever touched prohibited edibles, it is very possible you have encountered an actual nutritional cult.  This is dangerous, as you may never enjoy eating again, leading to any of a multitude of eating disorders.


Look, I’m glad we all have our religion, democracy, and plenty of nutritional models to choose from.  I’m not picking on anyone.  Personally, I tend to be nutritionally non-denominational.  I love my congregation, as we welcome vegans, ovo-lacto vegetarians, omnivores, Aktins followers, and anything in between.  We “pin” recipes, listen to each other rave about menus, and share samples.  When faced with a meal, we EAT it, ENJOY it, and share in each other’s company.  No one is moping, or preaching, or judging.

I try to do what I think is right for the world, my family, and my body . . . most of the time.  Admittedly, I sometimes feed my disposition (which is often a pepperoni pizza with chocolate chip cookies for dessert).  pepperoni pizzaHow very lucky for me that I have that choice.  You may choose to indulge in pomegranate.  Some people can only choose from rice or beans.  Some can choose from thirst or unclean water.  I’m pretty sure some would choose GM corn over starvation.

Which brings me to corn, and anyone who knows me well has heard me say, “Don’t get me started on corn!”  So yes, I know the sermon.  You’re preaching to the choir.  And sometimes the choir is fed up (literally).  I’m just asking the food priests to please stop trying to shove their communion down my throat.  If I want it, I know where to find it.


Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it.

23 thoughts on “Holier Than Chow

    1. I have to be in the right mood not only to rant, but to wait for the confrontational comments! So far, so good! . . . It still all in good fun though, eh?

  1. Looks like someone got on your bad side recently 🙂 I have to say I do agree to a point with you, I too had those horribly bad for us meals growing up. And I say I agree partly because while I don’t want to be judged for how I choose to eat, or have it shoved down my throat, I do want the information out there to find better choices for myself. That being said, a homemade ground bologna and miracle whip sandwich on white bread was my favorite meal in summer laying out basking in the sun without sunscreen! Yep, I still refuse to wear sunscreen no matter who tells me I’ll get skin cancer. The way I see it the sun is natural, the sunscreen is gross!

    1. LOL. Yes, as easy going as I am, there are still people that I can only take SO much of! Mostly they are people who just won’t let the rest of us be. But also, those with no sense of humor, and the people who make sure I know how very much they make. Whoopty doo. Who cares?

      1. For health reasons I became a vegetarian years ago. I’m not strict about it when I’m out, but I live around farm country and boy do I hear all about how I can’t possibly be healthy. Unfortunately, they are the ones who are sick all the time.

        Oh I know people who are constantly rubbing in what they make or what their credit score is. I really don’t care, they are the same people who complain about how much they work and how they have no time, they are also the people who think I’m crazy for living where and how I do. I try to just shake my head and walk away.

  2. Amen to that. I agree whole heartedly and you said it so well. But I swear by all that’s holy, if I see a bologna sandwich in front of me, someone will die.:) Got them everyday until my mom was told that peanut butter and jelly was cheaper. Yay! I was talking to my sister-in-law this morning about how eating used to be fun. Now she’s diabetic and I’m almost there. I love good food enjoyed with good company. I think nothing can hurt you then no matter what you eat. My sister has become a food fanatic and we can no longer share a meal. So sad. I’ll take the Buddhist path. All things in moderation. Pass the French rolls please.

    1. I will still eat a bologna sandwich about once every year or two. It’s never as good as I remember, but then what is?

      See? That’s what I’m saying. You should be able to share a meal with someone. I draw the line at cannibalism. Then again, unless there was a piece of clothing stuck to their lunch, I probably wouldn’t know the difference.

      I like the Buddhist idea. Seeking enlightenment. Very peaceful. I like that.

      1. OMG…you are soooooo lucky I was not drinking something when I read your response to this comment. Or rather…I am lucky. My screen would have gotten spewed on!

        Jaysus … first you rant about foodies…then you get picky and start to back pedal on things. “I draw the line at cannabalism.” Sheesh. (I am totally laughing here.)

      2. Did I forget to mention bugs? I’ve lived this long without eating bugs, and I really don’t think it would broaden my horizons. At. All.

  3. Mmmmm….Fritos….!! “to die as healthily as possible” – worded perfectly!! More salads doesn’t guarantee I will live longer. Nothing does. I whole heartedly agree with your entire post: back off food priests! Getting glares over my McDonald’s Big Mac only makes me want to eat it creepily slow and sloppy in front of them. Anyway, AMEN! 🙂

  4. OMG…. you WERE ranting the day prior to my rant … and now I feel an amateur lol.

    Like people who feel the need to have other’s be role models…people who feel the need to force feed their eating habits onto others is also a rude thing to do. I mean, it’s okay if you and a friend are gabbing and they tell you how (enter offending food here) will cause you to go blind … but when someone you barely know starts saying it and gets judgmental about it…whoaaaa.

    Wait … back tracks a bit. I reserve the right to comment on my daughters eating habits. Not because I would be right or thing think I have the right … but just because I don’t want her to go blind (*giggles again*)

    Soooo … 2 more things. NO wait…3 more things…sheesh *rolls eyes at myself*

    1) Full disclosure – I am not a vegetarian … but I tend to eat like one most of the times. Not for health reasons (ok…some health reasons)….nor not for political/moral/social reasons. Basically … I kind of like veggies. In fact…I think I am one of the few people who would actually salivate over warm salad soup. (uhh…seriously…think about that…it’s kind of sick right?)

    2) Feck…I am being too gabby and almost forgot what #2 was. I had to sit for a minute or so to remember….so I had better type fast so I don’t forget! Anyway … you mentioned sharing recipes…just because …just this morning I was answering an email from my brother, who was wanting a recipe that my sister used to make …that he LOVED. He wanted to make it for his lady friend … and he knew I had it. It involved an OBSCENE amount of half & half, butter, and cheese lol. But mmmmmmmmm.

    3) When I was in Hawaii for vacation recently … I went snorkling…but some divers were on board. They were talking about not really eating a lot so you would not have a blech taste in your mouth in the off chance you got seasick. One feller was saying you want some food in you. (Which makes sense…if you are doing something strenuous…food = fuel right?) Anyway .. he was also saying to eat Fritoes. Uhmm….this is kind of gross…in a fun fact filled way …but he was saying that Fritoes is one of the few foods that will taste the same going down as coming up. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww….but secretly wonders if it is true….lol.

    Ok…sorry this was so long and that I hi-jacked your blog post!

    1. Oh man . . . I just found a bunch of comments I had never read. I’m dying laughing about the Fritos, and the fact that you forgot what #2 was.

      We are very passionate about our food, aren’t we?

      And my final response: Half & Half, Butter, and Cheese. That sounds like a complete recipe for success.

    1. Licking the beaters if fine with me, but the food priest isn’t going to be happy if there are chicken periods in there. I’m serious. They call them that.

  5. Jean, your term “food priests” is amusing, but I call them what they are: food neurotics (the new hypochondriacs). Most of them could use a few deconditioning sessions with a good psychiatrist. But you know, I live in a small town in socialist-as-hell Canada, and I have never been overtly of covertly criticized for what I eat (fast food), nor have I ever seen or heard anyone else being overtly of covertly criticized. Everyone just tucks in and enjoys in a spirit of live and let live. The outspoken food neurotics here seem mercifully confined to replacing the real news on the television “news” programs. Any Canucks out there with a different tale to tell?

  6. I love this post Jean. Real feisty. Have to go get brekky now. A slice of bread in the toaster, smother it with animal fat, and top it with an oval white thing that’s come straight out of a chicken’s bum.

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