Holier-than-thou, and getting holier.

So, I just read this editorial-slash-book-review, or whatever it’s supposed to be. The most striking thing, to me, is the writer’s use of moralizing, sin-a-licious language:

In theory, I’m a food libertarian and don’t believe the state should take responsibility for curbing individuals’ greed.” [Emphasis mine.]

And her…colourful…use of hyperbole, which wouldn’t be entirely out-of-place in the opinion section of your local junior high student paper:

But it’s sad to watch already-chubby kids at the food courts eating hassock-sized cinnamon rolls, haystacks of french fries and stacked baseballs of ice cream. The kids may as well be wearing T-shirts proclaiming “Diabetic in Training.”

Whoa, Hoss, let’s tone down the outrage for a second there and consider things sensibly, shall we?

First of all, people don’t eat because they’re greedy. Greed, and the other deadly sins we hold so dear to our shrivelled, black hearts, has absolutely nothing to do with food. We eat because we’re hungry, or because something looks and smells delicious, and because we’re hard-wired to eat tasty food.

As much as is available.

This is a survival mechanism — because who knows when it’s coming around again, right? Particularly if you’ve ever survived a food shortage (or, the more likely case in North America, if you’ve ever survived a weight-loss diet.)

Hard to believe, I know, since humans obviously aren’t just animals who evolved from other animals, thus still having certain animal needs and certain animal behaviours. No, no — we’re all just greedy little fallen angels slavering with lust at the thought of buggering some poor, starving charity case out of his last can of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato.

So we can stuff it mindlessly down our gaping, triple-chinned maws…

big mouth


Wait. Where was I again? Oh yeah, considering things sensibly.

Look. We’re human. We get hungry. Yes, we even crave and enjoy salt, sugar, and fat. Because those things (aside from representing two of the three existing macronutrients, and one of the most important micronutrients) are precious commodities to animals in the wild, and it makes sense to eat up as much of them as you can, and store that energy against a rainy day.

And, yes, becoming civilized little monkeys has changed our world, and that strategy is now a bit outdated. But the innate desires are still there. And yes, the food industry capitalizes on those innate desires and tries to manipulate our appetites for profit (want to talk about greed? *cough*)

But none of this should come as a big, nasty surprise to a society of educated consumers living in a rich country in the year 2009.

And none of this makes us greedy, gluttonous assholes — it makes us human beings.

The way to deal with this is not to point fingers at the fatties and shriek with moral outrage about their greed. The way to deal with this is not to conflate eating habits with body size, or to blame diabetes on those evil white foods.

Wacky as it may sound, the way to deal with it is to, first, calm the fuck down. And stop being such an asshole to people who don’t look like you. And stop attaching a moral value to food, or to health.

Maybe learn to take care of yourself with kindness instead of flagellation. You might find that all that hyper-processed stuff makes for a fun treat, but actual, ya know, food makes a far more satisfying and delightful staple. And you might learn to even enjoy it, rather than swallowing it whole out of some deranged sense of duty.

None of us, fat or thin, are such idiots that we can’t figure out how to eat appropriately for our bodies. And it really is okay to enjoy things that taste good.

It’s food. That’s what it’s for.

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