If you know me or read my blog, you know my favorite question is “What did you eat today?” I never ask what one does for a living as one should not define themselves by their position or status in life. I am more curious about what you eat, because it can tell me a lot more about a person. That is why when I rediscovered the article You still eat bread?’ How to get the food police off your back in my bin, I had to roll my eyes and mumbled that the world is always going to be full of busy bodies.
I find myself in Dennetts’ camp, where people are relatively immune to comments that run counter to how they choose to eat. These are usually people who have managed to escape being sucked into the chronic dieting madhouse. I have never been on a diet. Life is too short for restrictions. I am more of a moderation type of woman. I have created a lifestyle that incorporates the farmers market, growing fresh vegetables, sustainable fish, and grass fed meat (on vacations all bets are off). Dennett sums it up when she states “If you feel like you are being patrolled by the food police, take comfort that you aren’t alone.
Everybody eats, so everybody has an opinion about food, and a lot of people like to share their opinions. That said, you are an adult and you have the right to make choices for yourself. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries around food talk, by kindly but firmly making it clear that your food choices are your business.” To quote author Brené Brown, “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” If you need a quick comeback to counter a food busybody, try a pointed-yet-casual, “Why are you monitoring what other adults eat?” If you are the busy body, instead of becoming too emotionally invested in someone’s food choices, set a quiet example. Prepare what you want to eat and serve, then just enjoy the meal — no need to talk about how nutritious or healthful it is.