Article: Today’s Debate- Should We Ban “Healthy Food” From Our Diet?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcus-samuelsson/banning-healthy-food-from_b_1822785.html

I read this blog post written by chef Marcus Samuelsson, discussing our obsession with “healthy food” about a month ago and fell in love with the message. He notes the government’s dual role in both creating a better response to fight the obesity epidemic while also playing instigator by supporting the very industries that provide many of the foods and products that contribute to our unhealthy diets. That said, he also makes a somewhat provocative argument that we have a responsibility to ourselves to not divide up our food choices into “healthy” and “tasty.” He argues,

There shouldn’t be a distinction between what’s healthy and unhealthy. Cooking and eating well, meaning deliciously and nutritiously, is not just an issue of access or cost — it’s also an issue of education and understanding, and our government has a responsibility to help with this transition.

I can agree that sometimes we can be too mindful of what’s on our plate that we can sometimes ignore the simple pleasure in just eating. The variety of natural foods available to us globally can offer many alternatives for people that think health food is tasteless glop, and Chef Samuelsson points those out in his blog.

When I first read this I fell hard for his points and thought “Yes! This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about!” And I still feel that way about most of what he says. One of my biggest complaints about the US is that as much focus our culture has on food, we don’t enjoy it. I’ve traveled to so many places where the emphasis is on the experience making the meal and sharing it around a table. We can learn a thing or two from those cultures.

After revisiting this blog, I can’t help but wonder how we can go about educating people on nutritious foods without making some sort of distinction between foods that are good for you and foods that aren’t.

What do you think? Do you agree with his argument to ban the idea of “healthy food”? Is it just a matter of semantics or do we just need a different approach to educating the public about food and nutrition? How do you relate to food and do you think Americans need to rethink their relationships with food?

It’s open forum time so I wanna hear from you! Drop me a line. 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Article: Today’s Debate- Should We Ban “Healthy Food” From Our Diet?

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  1. To me, it would be better too talk a little less about healthy food. I’m very sensitive for this things and I already feel guilty when I am eating a piece of cake. I think the ‘talking too much’ about healthy food is triggering some already sensitive persons to be obsessed with it and developing some really big problems because of it. I think a good balance between eating healthy and tasty food and enjoying a piece of cake or a Mars bar is a great need …

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    1. Thanks for your comment! And I agree! I recently read that doctors are now labeling the obsession with eating healthy foods as orthorexia, another eating disorder. I know in guilty of overanalyzing sometimes and I’m reminded of this everytime I leave the US. It’s a fine line to tread, between a desire to stay conscious about food issues while also not being compulsive about every choice.

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      1. Yes that is absolutely true. To me it started with orthorexia..and then it became anorexia. That line is very thin yes..But on the other hand, a good relationship with food means you have to include the healthy food in your lifestyle. Difficult things. But I love to read your thoughts on food and food questions. Have you ever thought of following some education to become something like a dietican? 🙂

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      2. Thank YOU for reading and sharing! I love hearing your thoughts as well. 🙂 actually this blog came out of a desire to become a registered dietitian which I hope (fingers crossed) I can do in the next year or two. But I really wanted to begin networking and learning as much as I could from my own research and from speaking with other bloggers before school. I think there’s so much to learn from people and their experiences so this was the perfect first step for me. 🙂

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  2. I just know we Americans have messed up relationship with food. I don’t we should ban the idea of “healthy food”, but we need to learn about what is nutritious for our bodies. So maybe a new term like “nutritious food”?
    We also really do need to focus on educating kids and reeducating adults on ways to start incorporating natural foods into our diet. Maybe we should start pushing creative cooking for fun.

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    1. I think something we can all agree is the need to educate ourselves about what we’re eating. I know sometimes I’ve debated with people just how much education we need. Food science is all well and good but what do we get out of knowing how many grams of folate a baked potato might have? I think we get a lot as long as its reasonable. I don’t think we need to whip out calculators and scales but there should be a good grasp of what the foods (and drinks!) we’re putting into our bodies are contributing to our health. Call it “healthy” or “nutritious” or “clean”- doesn’t matter if we don’t have a solid foundation of what’s good for us.

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