Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An informal poll.

Does the phrase "raw foodist" suggest:

a) dietary extremism?
b) activism?
c) health-consciousness?
d) something else?

I've been thinking about this phrase, and how my responses to it are all positive, probably because the raw foodists I know are all decent, gentle people who cook really well and passionately and variously. But I have a sense that, in the larger cultural conversation, the term smacks of the wacky.

I'm feeling blah, physically, and have been for a few weeks. I'm revamping my diet for a couple of weeks to come, eating mostly vegan and mostly raw (easy because I'm eating mostly from gardens, mine and neighbors' and folks') to see whether it gets me back on kilter. But while I'm enjoying my experiment so far, and while I've been eating really, really good stuff, I feel weird about saying (esp. to people with whom I chance to eat), "Hey, I'm doing the raw foods thing for a while," because I think it comes across as preachy, or aggressive, or fringe, or judgmental. (Like my being a teetotaling vegetarian localvore food snob doesn't communicate enough judgment about how others consume.) (Just for the record, I don't care what you eat.) (Unless you're my kid, and then I try merely to model making healthy choices, and to instill a sense of values but let you make your own decision.) (Even if that means I buy you the occasional chain restaurant hamburger, which, you know, is fine because you're eating SOMETHING besides cereal for a change.) (Even so, I'm glad you prefer the burgers from the local take-out, and call the burgers from SOME chains "chemical sandwiches.") (But, again, I don't judge.)

Anyway, I don't know how long this little experiment will last. I like cheese. And cooked food. But I feel pretty great today, and that's a nice change.


Moria said...

Speaking as a half-assed ethical eater, occasional carnivore but more habitual vegan/veggie-cooker-and-or-eater, farmers-market-shopper, and gastronomic snob, I do judge people by what they eat. (Example: If you are a graduate student and you think the pizza in the "food" court is actual food, I think less of you than I otherwise would.) And I think "raw foodist" sounds cultish, but "I'm doing raw food for a bit" sounds like a reasonable experiment. As long as it has an end date.

Lisa B. said...

I agree with Moria. "I'm doing the raw foods thing for awhile" is soooo different than whatever the alternative is, the one that makes you sound like I better never eat around you because you'll judge me.

I'm actually kind of sick of people talking about food like it's a substitute for religion. Myself included. Eat what you want, and don't make me listen to you (me) talk about it, except to say, "Here, try this, it's delicious."

K8 said...

wow, i love how food will bring out my comments... how long have i been lurking and not leaving comments?

1. whatever keeps you on kilter, right?


2. sometimes i feel like raw food smacks of dietary extremism. when my already super anorexic roommate decided to go on a raw diet, i saw it as an excuse for to her to perpetuate her already tormented relationship with food--


3. sometimes extreme things are the only things that make extreme people feel happy/on-kilter, and i like extreme/intense people


4. maybe i will try it one day (see #3)


5. do you love the place in berkeley called cafe gratitude? there, raw food is (in my opinion) rather delicious

Dr. Write said...

I agree with what everyone has said, and, revealing my own food extremism, worry that you won't get enough protein. A teacher at Son's school did it and apparently got very sick. I think it depends on the person. Speaking as a former vegetarian who is now an omnivore, I try to not be too extreme. So I think "trying the raw food thing" sounds reasonable, as I had to try many things before I found what worked for me. Good luck!

dkm said...

You folks are putting me to shame :) I drink Fresca and eat cottage cheese, mandarin oranges, Starbusts, and Dark Chocolate Hershey’s Kisses (and I take a vitamin every day). That’s pretty much it, unless someone else is buying, in which case I’m good with just about anything. All those years in grad school make it almost impossible for me to turn down free grub.

the rebel lettriste said...

I concur that "raw foodist" smacks of a certain upper echelon extremism. But then again, if it works, whatevs.

I used to hate hate hate the religion that is veganism, because it was all so holier-than-thou and had such magical thinking embedded in it. And then I moved to Subtropical City, where the meat is icky and industrial, and where I am just too busy to cook it. Lo and behold, I eat pretty much like a vegan, now.

I think as long as anyone doesn't become one of those insufferable types who "can't eat" (read: refuses to eat) x, y, z, it's cool.