I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world who has noticed this, but why is being healthy (or trying to be healthier) considered to be so weird in our culture? While no one has ever openly mocked me for trying to eat healthy food, I have heard many a friend go off on a tangent about so and so and their latest health crusade. Or making fun of people for choosing organic veggies and pastured meats. Or just implying that everyone should just eat a little bit of everything and be done with it. I’ve heard people make fun of parents who don’t want to feed their kids sugar or processed foods. Why is trying to give yourself and your family the best possible nutrition seen as such a crazy thing to do?*
I have a few theories about this.
One, I don’t think our culture values true health (or hard work for that matter.) I’ve met many people who would rather take a pill than to invest the hard work into keeping themselves healthy.
Second, the US doesn’t really have a traditional food culture. Michael Pollan brought this up in one of his books. Because we are such a melting pot, our food culture is a mix of things. It’s very different than the deeply rooted food cultures of other countries.
Also, I think anything that swims against the norm is a challenge. Maybe it’s a misery loves company kind of thing? I know I’ve been in many situations where junk food was pushed on me, presumably so that the other person wouldn’t feel bad about eating whatever they were eating.
I’m sure there are other reasons that are psychologically complex, but I don’t have the answers.
*To make this post fair and balanced, I will say that I have seen “healthy eaters” do exactly the same thing to those that choose to live off diet cokes and Cheetos. And even to some people who eat a mostly healthy diet but still include some processed foods. Both sides just need to chill out. Eat whatever you want, it’s all good!