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Food Culture

Posted 13 January 2003, 9.06 pm by Acheron

I'm sure we all have distinct recollections of our parents telling us to finish our meal. I know I can remember my parents scornfully telling me to shovel more eats down my gullet. How could I leave food uneaten when children in vague, far-off locations, usually Africa, never have enough to eat?!

Right.

Is it any surprise that the West's (read: North America) is a culture of overeating? Don't you remember being a child and feeling some serene sense of accomplishment - fullness - at finishing the whole meal?

"Wow, I'm truly an upstanding citizen today! I even ate the vegetables! I deserve a medal!"

True, I felt accomplished after some very silly tasks as a kid, but I can't shake the fact that my parents were somehow behind the pride I felt. Today, I still feel a little proud of myself whenever there's an empty plate in front of me. The best victories are those wars of attrition between me and my stomach, where I have to eat the food one piece at a time. I feel like Churchill thumbing his nose at the Germans:

"We shall go on to the end, we shall eat in France, we shall eat on the seas and oceans, we shall eat with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall eat on the beaches, we shall eat on the landing grounds, we shall eat in the fields and in the streets, we shall eat in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."


You've probably guessed where I'm going with this argument, because here it loses all coherency and branches off in a thousand directions, not stopping until I've ranted about everything from those filthy bastards who make generic brand soda crackers; to Big Daddy Bush and his mendacious quest for oil.

Face it - we're fatties, and our (my?) eating habits are wholly unhealthy. Not only do we overindulge ourselves at every sitting - on the wrong food at that; but we subjugate our appetites to the oddest schedules imaginable. Just how healthy can it be to eat three gigantic meals oddly spaced throughout the day?

It might be an odd approach, but if people want to curb Western over-consumption (you know, that whole "armageddon"/"human extinction" bit) perhaps we should start with... consumption?

booger
on 14 January 2003, 12.38 am
Excellent piece.

On a side note, while looking through old yearbooks, I stumbled across Acheron's Grade 6 & 7 photo.


Acheron
on 14 January 2003, 5.39 am
You bastard! I thought you'd lost them!

DAMNIT!


booger
on 14 January 2003, 5.42 am
And I found the infamous sweater. That's a "Ladner Classic"; It has the fishing boat as the logo and everything.


Shaggy
on 24 January 2003, 9.50 pm
Ladner classic??

With the article: I cannot count the amount of times I have shaken my head at my diet. And I'm Canadian, not even a member of the all-mighty U S of A!!!

Though I did get 13 out of 14 on the arses or elbows thingie. That made me more proud than any empty plate could ever do.

That and I usually don't eat out of plates, but out of pots and napkins. Think of me what you will, but I dare any university guy who lives on his own to say that he didn't, in all truth, develop at least one disgusting habit!


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