Alright folks, I have a bone to pick about food shaming. Sorry, not sorry if this offends you but it has to be said.
Enough with the food shaming. As if body shaming wasn’t bad enough, we as a culture have made food shaming a norm. We have made it acceptable to judge what others eat and that is not okay.
We judge and we criticize. We mock and we scoff. We compare and we contrast. We preach and we taunt. Our intentions might be good (well, sometimes), but our methods, not so much.
I’ve been mocked and ridiculed for bringing my own food, not eating at social outings, being a vegan or following a paleo diet. I’ve been shamed for being an overly healthy eater. I’ve even had people tell me to stop acting like I am better than them because of the dietary choices that I make. I’ve had people shove food that I cannot eat in my face, call me names and pick apart everything that I eat. I have been judged by strangers and colleagues and friends and even family.
Truth be told, my dietary choices are mine and mine alone. No one else has any right to mock, ridicule or shame me or my choices.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like a specific food, if you are vegan or paleo or you think non-organic food or packaged almond milk is toxic. Whatever your personal viewpoints may be, you have no right to judge others food choices. And more importantly, don’t ever tell someone that what they are eating is bad for them or that it is gross. Unless they ask you for your personal opinion, it’s not your place to do so.
By all means, stand up for what you believe in. In fact, please do as we all need to learn more about food. Advocate and create awareness about your personal choices but do it in a respectful, educational and non-judgemental way. Utilize the power of speech, the power of word and the power of social media to educate others on the benefits of a vegan or a paleo diet or organic foods or whatever your viewpoint may be. But whatever you do, do not food shame someone else.
What do you even know?
You know nothing about the individual that you are food shaming. You have no knowledge about their food intolerances or health conditions, their financial status or their knowledge, their upbringing or their personal viewpoints. You are in no place to judge them.
That woman buying non-organic produce, may be a single mother working two jobs and buying produce over processed foods may be the best that she can do.
The man buying packaged almond milk with added sugar may have just cut dairy out of his diet and it is the best that he can do with the knowledge that he has.
The person that eats a lot of meat may be on the auto-immune paleo protocol and it is the only thing that has ever worked for them.
The girl who is a vegan may be feeling the best she has ever felt in her life.
The woman who refuses to eat anything that is remotely considered unhealthy may be battling orthorexia nervosa.
The person who doesn’t eat at social outings and brings their own food may have serious food intolerances.
The customer who comes into your restaurant and asks a million questions may have serious food intolerances and is trying to have some sort of a social life.
So, I don’t care if you are a Nutritionist or a Dietician, a famous influencer or celebrity, drop your elitist crap, stop food shaming and grow up. As Ellen DeGeneres says, be kind to one another. Be compassionate and educate each other without shame and judgement and guilt talk and all that other crap.
Moral of the story:
You do you. Do your own research, educate yourself and make dietary choices that work for YOU. No one diet works for everyone and no one can tell you what you have to or should do. If you want to follow a vegan diet, great. If you want to eat meat, that’s fine too. If you have a million food intolerances, that’s totally okay too. Do YOUR OWN research, be educated about the food that you put inside YOUR body, and above all, respect others and their decisions.
With all that being said, for all of you who preach vegan or paleo diets or are environmentalists – keep doing what you are doing. Advocate and create awareness but do so in a respectful, non-judgmental and educational way. Ya’ll can make this world a freaking amazing place if you just show a little compassion and understanding towards others!