All Foods are Not Created Equal

Jun 30, 2011 by

It’s no big surprise that I love blogging about food.  I’m married to a 3rd generation farmer…oh and that whole pregnancy thing.  Yeah, that makes me like food too. 🙂

But those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that there is one particular area that I am most passionate about when it comes to food discussions…what I like to call “Food Morality.”  What I mean is that it’s my firm belief that your food choices have NOTHING to do with your morals (or lack thereof).  Eating a cheeseburger may offend a vegan, but it doesn’t make you a bad person.  Eating only organic fruit is your choice, but it doesn’t make it the only choice, the right choice for everyone OR make you a better person than a non-organic fruit eater.

With that being said, I want to talk about a recent conversation with my mom.  You see, with Homer’s impending arrival, I know that there’s a good chance Adam and I will need some help.  We are very thankful for multiple local family members who could potentially lend a hand, but the most likely candidate for “Helper of the Year” will be my mom.  This is especially due to the fact that should I have a c-section, she has been through it herself and will know what to expect and what areas will need more help/what we can let slide for a while.  Because she will likely have to stay at our house, I want to do everything I can to show our appreciation and make her stay as comfortable as possible. 

In order to accomplish this mission, I did something yesterday that I never would have done otherwise: bought regular (or “leaded,” as Adam calls it) Coke.  You see, Adam and I are exclusively diet soda drinkers, but many members of my family are diet sugar haters, Mom most of all.  Since the nearest Starbucks is 30 miles away, I figured she would be grateful to have some non-diet caffeinated beverages around the house.  Aren’t I sweet?  😉

When I explained my purchase to Adam, he asked why I didn’t just buy some of the bottled frappuccinos that are now sold in grocery stores, that way Mom could still have Starbucks.  I had to go through the whole spiel about how my mom no longer enjoys “frappies” (her words, not mine) but now has ventured into the murky Starbucks waters and fashioned her very own special SB concoction…are you ready for this?  A venti iced caramel macchiato with 2 shots of espresso and 4 pumps of vanilla.  WTH does that even MEAN?!  So, naturally, Adam’s first question is the same thing I asked when I first heard the “Jane Special” order…how in the world do you even come up with something that specific, and how many times of getting it wrong does it take before you get it exactly right?  His next question was equally logical: “Why do you know that order by heart? You don’t even go to Starbucks!”  Simple.  Mom has been on the phone with me while in the SB drive-thru enough times for me to have it memorized.  I guess if she ever get’s Alzheimer’s, she’ll be grateful that I know her coffee order.  Haha.

After explaining all of this, I got to thinking…for someone who drinks the diet soda haterade by the case…she sure does like vanilla syrup in her coffee.  Not to mention, this is the same woman who, for YEARS, carried this little device in her purse AT ALL TIMES:

 That’s right, a personal DIET SUGAR dispenser. 

The same woman who recently said that she is too young to not have a mother (true), and that between my sister’s smoking and me living around all the farm chemicals, she was going to outlive us all.   ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.  Back that train up.  Food morality alert!

Seems sort of strange to me, so I decided to ask my mom about it.  My questions weren’t intended to start a debate or change her mind, simply to understand how you can do a complete 180 on your “food morality” stance.  I never got a solid answer, but her responses were the following:

-I’m entitled to change my mind.

-As you get older, you want to be healthier and you see how much more important it is to make that part of your life. 

-Well, when you start seeing your parents and friends dying of cancer, you get really motivated to make life changes. 

This conversation was quite intriguing because I actually agree with everything she said, even though my own “food morality” stance is the complete opposite.  Of course you are entitled to change your mind, learn more, make healthier choices, not want to put any additional chemicals/processed foods into your body.  But I still don’t understand what caused her major mental shift…there hasn’t been any new information about the supposed “dangers” of diet sugars in the last 20 years, diet soda does NOT cause cancer…so what changed her mind?  Maybe someday I will get the answer. 

What really boggles my mind, and this is not just true of my mom, but many diet sugar haters…is they still eat the same amt. of regular sugar, if not more.  In the case of sugar, you have 2 choices…

1. You eat regular sugar and risk tooth decay, diabetes, weight gain and various other health problems.

2. You eat diet sugar and risk upset stomach (if your body doesn’t process diet sugars correctly) and potentially gaining weight due to “heightened sweetness” of diet drinks making you crave more sugar.  I would include cancer as a risk, but it’s been proven that unless you are consuming diet sugars by the semi load every day, diet sugar does not cause cancer.  And frankly, ANYTHING you consume in that quantity would be a risk for cancer, not just diet sugar. 

Neither of those choices sound particularly pleasant, so why can’t we just all go back to minding our own business and worrying about REAL problems like healthcare, SS and the economy instead of whether our neighbor buys Pepsi or Diet Pepsi? 

This is America. I support everyone’s right to eat organic or not, eat diet or not. Hell, do whatever you want…as long as it’s not judging other people based on whether they ate all their vegetables last night.  ( I didn’t.)  🙂



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