I don’t hate food. So what?

I don’t hate food. I just don’t. I enjoy eating and tasting food. My only restriction is if there’s meat or horseradish in it, not if it’s overloaded with calories or gluten or whatever else.”

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, and I suspect for a large part it is, but I’ve always had a healthy appetite. I enjoy eating. In the Trinidadian culture, an abundance of food is a sign of wealth and health. People often show off at weddings, not by the venue or the music, but by the spread of food presented. When someone comes over to your house, you offer food even if you live in a one-room home. Food is a good thing. Being a good cook is a high ranking skill in our culture. Being a vegetarian in a BIG carnivore culture was often met with disapproval because when I would visit others’ homes, they felt like they wouldn’t be able to feed me, which meant they were a failure as a host/hostess. Food is serious business in Trinidad.

Food is serious business here in Vancouver too, but not in the same way. How many times would you go somewhere and hear people beg off an offer of food because “I’m watching my figure,” or “I’m on a cleanse,” or my most hated, “I shouldn’t.” Okay, I get it. People want to lose weight and be healthy and be fit, I get it. I really do, but when did EVERYBODY stop enjoying food? Why ‘shouldn’t’ you eat food unless you’re allergic to something or you’re already full?

Let me ask you a question? When did rice become a bad thing? Remember when it was called “a staple” like flour and sugar and pasta and milk? None of which are welcome anymore, by the way.

[I want to apologize if I’m sounding sarcastic, but I just can’t help it. The volcano has erupted. I can’t control how the lava spews.]

I often go to potlucks and when you have treats and other stuff, it’s left untouched. Even if it is touched, there has to be a ten-minute preface about how bad it is and a spiel about weight-loss or calories. Do you know in Trinidad, there are things that we buy and eat and we don’t know where it was prepared, let alone what’s in it? Heck, doubles, which is pretty much our national food, is a kind of fried bread and people eat that all the time without batting an eyelash.

I feel like food should not be something that has to be apologized for before eating. Remember the good ole days when you said Grace Before Meals, giving thanks for the food. Now it’s the opposite. Now we have the Preface Before Meals. You don’t have to be religious to be thankful that you have food to eat, but maybe that’s what it is. Here in North America, having food is a given, so no big deal there, so something else needs to be said, I suppose.

There are days when I eat that I feel grateful to have that meal. When I prepare a great meal and Kidlet and I polish it off and go back for seconds, I feel grateful and happy. When he eats and he tells me he’s too full because of food I’ve prepared, I’m happy. What scares me is that, despite how I actually feel, I find myself saying things sometimes that I know I don’t believe. The subtly negative attitude towards food is starting to rub off on me slowly. I will try to make a genuine effort to resist it though. I’ll continue to drink my full fat milk and white rice and all the desserts I can get my grubby hands on and I won’t apologize for it.

V

p.s. I don’t think I’ve finished ranting about this yet…..

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