Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Martha's Food Zeitgeist

What other animal needs professional help in deciding what it should eat?
- Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

Oprah. Infomercials. Suzanne Sommers for crying out loud. What's the deal with people forgetting how to eat so they need these sources to step in?

I'm as guilty as anyone. I can't remember the last time I listened to my body instead of a barrage of medical advice.

I'll start my day with oatmeal or yogurt. Do I like these things? No. But somewhere along the line, someone convinced me I wouldn't die if I ate them. I'm gonna nosh on some fish. Something about omegas. Maybe get in a few veggies. Because of an "oid" of some kind...flavenoid? Rabenoid? I don't know.

How have we as a culture become so disconnected by something as simple as our survival instinct?

Even water has a guideline. WATER!!!! The simplest, most basic need for survival and I need a doctor to tell me what to intake? Or the trainer at the gym?

To me, this food dynamic represents just one iota of the self-help culture zeitgeist. Of this idea that we don't know enough about ourselves or that we can't trust ourselves to be healthy, happy, fulfilled, satisfied, rich without the input of "experts."

I know there's nothing wrong with looking for advice but I'm waiting for the next zeitgeist. The one where we listen to ourselves first, and strangers next.

9 comments:

Lisa Hughey said...

Go M!! I've been struggling with this very thing because I'm eating the right things and my body is not reacting the way "THEY" say it should....

Sophie Littlefield said...

well, at least the thing about food/diet/eating is that no one ever seems to come up with the definitive answer or tire of talking about it so it's an endless source of discussion. just returned from family vacation where it turns out we had wildly different food habits. that was an interesting kitchen for sure...

L.G.C. Smith said...

One of the big problems with listening to all those voices telling us eat this, eat that, is sorting out why we're being told what we are. Seems like most of the time, if we look deep, the motive is selling us something. A product. A vision. Something. The "it's good for you" line is so often a cover.

Mysti Lou said...

We need a German word with a hard, fricative consonant like Zeitgeist to describe the atmosphere in a country where ruthless corporate entities bombard us with images of things that look like food but work like poison (it was even in the Wall Street Journal!). We know people eat more when presented with big portions, even if the food sucks (the things scientists study!). We have no idea if the overproduction of food in america (the equivalent of well over 3,000 calories a day per person) is stimulating us in ways we don't yet understand, much less not getting to the people who really NEED those calories...

KorpCrap. That's not quite German, but you get the drift ;)

Juliet Blackwell said...

I hear alcohol's better for you than water...

Adrienne Miller said...

Juliet, I guess that all depends on what ails ya.

Rachael Herron said...

Well, alcohol works for what ails ME, but if I were at Martha's house, I think butter pie would help everyone.... oh, dreams.

Martha Flynn said...

The restaurant I went to tonight had deep fried Oreos. That's all I'm sayin'!

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