Friday, February 7, 2014

Americans are obsessed with food.

Ok, a few disclaimers...

1) We don't have t.v. or cable in Poland so I have no idea what is shown on television there. I plan to keep it this way so I will never know about Polish television and food.

2) I think eating healthy is important. This does not include anything low fat, fat free or artificially sweetened. Those things taste gross.  I make sure we eat a wide range of all food groups.

3) My kids do not have food allergies. Food allergies are real and need to be addressed. You gluten free and dairy free mothers are wonderful people. It's not easy.

4) The way we "eat healthy" in my family is by me cooking everything from scratch (even saying that I know that not making my own pasta makes me not quite "from scratch" but come on, I am only one woman) which is MUCH easier to do in Poland because there is... a) less opportunity for crap food, so less temptation for frozen dinners, fast food, etc. because it just doesn't exist to the same convenient extent and b) everyone in Poland that I know cooks just about everything they eat from scratch, it's tradition, culture, cheaper, whatever you want to call it, but they do.

And every once in a while we eat at McDonald's or order a pizza.

whispering: also, hate to say this, but there is a  rumor that Americans don't know how/are unwilling to cook from scratch... not only do I like to prove this wrong, but I also kind of think it's true. At least Americans definitely rely more what we call "derivative foods" to "cook from scratch"... like a can of cream of mushroom soup (derivative) rather than making it from scratch... I make mine form scratch because it doesn't exist in Poland.  But hey, I miss that can of CofM sometimes.

Ok, on to the actual post part...

Y'all... Americans are absolutely obsessed with food.

This obsession extends to:

- cooking shows
- shows about eateries, diners, restaurants
- shows about eating in different parts of the world
- shows about eating healthy organic, low calorie
- shows about eating Southern food
- shows about eating food from the original 13 colonies (not as good as the Southern food ;) )
- shows about eating cheaper
- shows about eating outdoors
- shows about eating bizarre food
- shows about running successful restaurants
- shows about gross restaurants
- shows about eating challenges
- shows about cupcake challenges, cake challenges, Iron Chef, oh, so many shows about food challenges...

that's just television

*FACEBOOK... oh my goodness, I'm just gonna start blocking it all...

- microwaves will kill you
- eating Kambucha will save your life (or wait, is that drinking Kambucha? what the heck *is* Kambucha?)
- anything from a can will kill you because the can is toxic
- anything stored in plastic will kill you because the plastic is toxic
- red meat is bad because it kills you
- vegetarian is bad because it kills you
- vegan is best because it's all natural and nothing had to feel sad to feed you but you'll prob. die sooner anyway due to lack of eating anything with actual nutrients
- eating organic is not necessary
- eating non-organic is not "responsible living"
- oatmeal is bad for you
- bacon is super bad for you
- eggs are a miracle food (but only free range, organic otherwise they will kill you)
- dairy is absolutely the most evil to ever exist (unless its raw milk from your local farmer and then you're soooo natural, it's illegal - so you're a rebel and you should buy as much as you can  (all that being said, we don't drink much milk at our house because we just don't - that's my choice and guess what? you don't need to know why!))
- almond milk or something called"Silk" will save your life
- grains are basically like slowly willing yourself to die. you can eat them as an indulgence but otherwise you're basically just a ticking time bomb
- the only acceptable yogurt is Greek
- the only acceptable yogurt is Kefir
- the only acceptable yogurt is homemade made from organic cultures
- red dye will make your kids crazy
- sugar will make your kids crazy
- sugar will NOT make your kids crazy, this is a myth kept alive by evil anti-grandma lobbyists
- artificial sweeteners cause cancer
- real sugar is too refined and will kill you
- raw sugar is best but in the end why even bother?
- diets: dieting in America is no longer to help you stay thin or lose weight, oh no, it's a way of life...
      - only eating fruit
      - only eating protein
      - only eating organic
      - only eating food that doesn't have feelings
      - all food has feelings so you're S.O.L.
      - elimination diets for better hair growth
      - elimination diets for better bowel movements
      - elimination diets to live longer, look better, and stay thin
      -  you can eat anything as long as it fits into a mug
      - diets where they mail the food to you
      - diets where you share your feelings about they food they mailed to you
      - cleansing diets which cleanse you ( I prefer baths or showers)
- only meat that has been grass fed, free range and kissed goodnight every night should grace your plate
- red wine is a necessity and it cures all ills (of course it does! as long as you drink enough.. I agree with this one...alas, I have been on hiatus)

I started noticing this when we were still in Poland, especially through Facebook. Post after post of what you should be eating, shouldn't be eating. What you should be using to cook your food (no Teflon, no non- stick, only cast iron, no microwaves, only outdoor ovens with  wood that died naturally on your own property that you loving cared for yourself and gives off healing vibes as it slowly burns and the smoke rises and you commune with the cooking fairies... too far? I had to throw in fairies, I had to) Constantly conflicting articles on what's good for you, what's not.

 A complete obsession with what goes in the pie hole.

pie hole = your mouth, the place where you put pie. pie is delicious.

My one conclusion to all this, ok, my 5 or 6 conclusions.

1) Americans are obsessed with food
2) Food and all that it entails have quite literally, in some circles, and some people, completely replaced traditional religion to become a religion in and of itself (there are lots of articles on this as well, people looooove articles here... "ooh, have you read that article...", " I just read this article..." "oh, no, I once read in an article that said...")
3) people are really judgmental about what you put in your body
4) Americans are still really unhealthy as a whole compared to most other countries in the world even AFTER all this "education" about food
5) America is so freakin' rich that our problems extend not to "what's for dinner" and "can we afford meat again this week?" but more to the "how was that beef raised and how was it treated?"

  Americans have not, recently, as a whole, and rarely, for most of us, ever gone hungry, or stood in food lines only to end up going home empty handed, and we, as a whole, God willing, will never experience famine or food shortages. Since we don't have to worry about whether or not we will or will not eat today we obsess over what we *can* have. We have so much that we over analyze every. single. little. part of it.

America, this is a good thing! To be so financially comfortable and be so free that we can eat without worry, that we have an overabundance of food, so much so that we throw away more food than any other country on the planet (not good), we have so much! But it has just been taken too far. Food kind of stops being real when it's elevated to worship status or demonized beyond all recognition.

You know what reality is.... buying the basics and making the food. Or raising your own food and consuming every part of it. Sometimes that means eating out of a box if needs be, or running for take out, and hopefully learning a few recipes from scratch and appreciating where food comes from...but that's not really as important as this... which I would like to shout from the rooftops:

Make it, serve it and then you know what.....shut up about it. There, I said it.

Shut up about food.

I don't care what you put in your mouth. Or how it's prepared. I don't care about how healthy it is. I don't care how healthy/unhealthy you think my food choices are and I definitely don't care about how you want to alert the world to how flammable those Doritos are!

Just stop.

Eat all your crazy organic, free range, fermented, bottled, juiced, canned, pressed, mixed, stirred, fried (ack, never fried, sooo bad for you...unless you use E.V.O.O as your oil.... don't know what that is?... plebe!), I'll even join you from time to time, and then... move on ... .like the rest of the world. You can do it! I have faith in you.

NOT a G rated film thanks to some colorful language from the super classy participants. But, come on, this is classic. Not only can we set Doritos on fire, but we film it and post it to Youtube...

*Yes, Facebook is not a great example perhaps. I tend to travel in the natural birthing, natural eating, cloth diapering, homeschooling crowd which = healthy eating, healthy lifestyles. For sure if *I* lived a different lifestyle then my friends would probably be the ones setting Doritos on fire while I filmed it. But hey, they're only passing along what's already out there, it can't all just be me.

And now I have an intense desire to set Doritos on fire.


  1. I am tempted to share that on...Facebook:) Yes, and I cook from scratch too. I am Polish after all, even in RI !

    1. Ha! Yes, well, Facebook is the major culprit after all. I mean,how long can we go on telling each other that gluten will kill us and farmers markets are gonna save the world? Apparently forever. ;)

      And I bet you use real butter, and cream, and real eggs, not just egg beaters. You are killing your family! But it's such a delicious death. ;)

  2. Glad you are back, both in the states and blogging again. For what it's worth, I've been using my Rosetta Stone and I'm definitely learning more Polish than when I didn't use it :-)

    1. Haha, yes, I do believe Rosetta stone is better than nothing. ;) I actually did learn quite a lot when I was using it but it takes a large time investment and I'm too stingy with my free time.

      It's good to be back, we'll see if it sticks...

    2. This is Olivia, btw, on Martin's computer.

  3. Hi Olivia,

    You are so right about the American obsession with food, and I am guilty as charged. I so enjoy the topic, but I do have a thing for real food and cooking from scratch.

    I just returned to Poland after an extended vacation stateside, Thanksgiving to now, and with a different routine, I haven't been keeping up with my usual blog reading, so I had to go back and read your last few posts to get caught up. So much happening for your family!

    I've emailed you an invitation to a facebook group for expat bloggers; I know, like you've got time for that!

    Hugs from Poznan!

  4. I'm just tired of all the "You thought these foods were life giving when in fact, they're life taking!" And "Five foods you should never eat, unless you want to die tomorrow" and other some such nonsense. BUT I do love recipes and fun food ideas for parties and stuff like that. Maybe I should have titled it, "Americans are afraid of food!" I think it was the article about Oatmeal being bad for you that really set me off. ;)

    I will def. check out the facebook group! Thanks for the invite!