Common Sense Philsophies – Food Religion

The Best People, Julia Child

Oh yes… One of my favorite quotes by Julia.

One thing you might not know about me, is that I am a seeker of knowledge. I just love understanding things and people. I AM that weirdo who can talk religion, politics, food, Team Edward or Team Jacob (Edward…in case anyone was wondering…) and basically anything and everything. Even if I don’t agree, or have the same beliefs, I just love to know how people tick. It ignites that child like curiosity within me when I meet someone or something new. Same thing goes for “food religion.”

Now…You may be like…What in the world are you talking about?! I’ve come to this interesting conclusion lately that the way you eat is so very similar to religion. You have a set way of doing things and you put your whole heart into it. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or just Standard American Diet but using mostly organic foods. You have your reasons, and they’re usually always good reasons to eat better, whole foods, and support local farmers. There is a lot of common ground! However, it seems like more and more these days, people get stuck in the Dogma of Food Religion and forget that we’re all just eating… And let me quote her again… People who love to eat are the best people.

There are some extreme diets out there! I’ve heard of everything from a completely meat diet to a completely raw plant based (vegan) diet. There’s the Standard American Diet, Paleo, Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, Wahl’s Protocol, Low-Histamine… The list goes on and on and on… But, when did we start saying that MY DIET is the ONLY RIGHT kind of diet for a person to have?

Even though I’m paleo…This is something I’ve seen in our large paleo group. If someone mentions being able to eat something not typically described as “paleo” then people get all bent out of shape. We even have hashtags for #TeamWhiteRice! I see things like, grains are evil! Soy is poison. Dairy is the devil. And while….That may make sense for that person… Is there a one size fits all human diet?

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the vegans lately. It’s just something I find interesting, and I love that more people are advocating against animal suffering. But, even in the vegan community…They fight and bicker about who is the most vegan… Who does the most hashtags to get out the vegan message. Vegans are truly passionate to deny the primal instinct within to go completely without eating meat. I admit, I eat vegan meals on occasion. Especially vegan treats. If I’m going on that rare occasional treat, I would rather use whole, raw foods than to have to bake, and have a million weird ingredients… (Doesn’t help…Paleo baking is hard.)

Then we have our friends (and family) who are Standard American Diet. I mentioned to one family member who was looking at the possibility of having cancer that they have seen great things with a vegan diet and cancer patients… Needless to say…This was my daddy and love him as I do he replied, “I’ll die with a steak in one hand, and a beer in the other.” I’m sure some people just fell over…But that’s my dad. A lot of us probably know these folks. Heck, some of you might be reading my blog like…Yep..She’s talking about me. What do I have to say about this? Well. You can’t make choices for these people. They’ve eaten this way their whole lives and think there’s nothing wrong with it. Does it annoy the heck out of me when people complain that my kids are starved because they don’t get treats or can’t have soda? Oh you bet…This momma bear is happy to inform any and all that I am trying to give them good healthy options. But, again I come to the question… Is this diet right for everyone?

The answer to these questions are……NO! No way! Never! Nope.

No one diet will ever work for all 7 billion of us. We all have different backgrounds and genetics. We may have different life experiences and handle food differently. I often hear stories about people like me who are severely allergic to food in the U.S.A. going away on holiday to another country and being fine! Why are there skinny people who eat junk food all day? Why are there people who are still fat on paleo? I think it is simply because…

We are all unique.

I think the most important thing that I would like anyone who reads this to take from it is….

(Say it with me.) People who love to eat, are the best people. So yes, that means you. If you love food, you’re awesome in my book. No matter what you believe is best. If you’re vegan and you feel great and are full of life and energy and can help the planet and reduce animal suffering…You have my kudos and encouragement. If you’re a single mom just trying to make it and all you can afford is spaghetti noodles, pasta sauce, and a pound of ground beef…You still have all my kudos! If you’re some form of Paleo like me and you are all about nutrient density, snout to tail, and buying local…You have just as many kudos as the rest!

Why?

Because we’re all awesome people who love food. We can learn awesome things from each other regardless of our diet. I definitely don’t let paleo stop me from figuring out how to make or recreate amazing dishes from all sorts of amazing people. And, I am committing to be able to serve not just my paleo friend, but everyone! So don’t freak out if you see a Standard American Diet with pasta in it, my paleo friend… Don’t freak out my Standard American Diet friends if you see a vegan recipe…

So whether you’re passing the spaghetti…the lentil…or the bacon….I hope we can all share a dish together and just enjoy food. I hope you’ll come back next time and see what opinions this hippie momma, Common Sense Cook can lay down next.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

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