Sunday, 27 July 2014

I Hate Food and so I Must Rant

This started off as a quick comment I was going to use to introduce this Skepchick article when I posted it to facebook (adjust your set accordingly if you've arrived from G+), but it quickly grew out of control. So, copypasta to a blog post of its own. (Food is sooooooooooo boring! Also, why do I have zero clean dishes? I'm hungry now.)

I get MASSIVELY bored when people talk about food, and this is part of why. I'm not certain that I'd compare it so closely to reproductive rights (definitely worth keeping aware of impacts, but they aren't quite as direct and clear), but I think a lot of people talk a lot of uninformed shit. This is both bad in itself, and really, really boring for me personally. (And you are aware that you're here mainly to amuse me, right?)



  • If you want to talk about food for purely entertainment purposes, then, sigh, fine. It bores me, but I guess there's nothing technically dangerous or dubious about it. You can feed me tasty vegan things, sometimes, just don't discuss them with me. (Amuse me!)

  • If a qualified (really qualified, like a real doctor) medical professional has given you a custom personal diet for medical reasons, then that's akin to prescribing you medicine. You wouldn't rush onto FB to tell everyone they really need to start taking the super cool antibiotic you've just received, so don't tell everyone to copy your medical eating plan either.

  • If a non-expert has given you a diet for medical reasons, tell them to fuck off. This includes fitness and weight-loss diets, those are not somehow magically distinct from the rest of biology.

  • I believe I know exactly zero doctors (of medicine) and zero qualified dieticians, so if you want to give other people health-oriented eating advice, then you should fuck off too. At a stretch, if you're really that worried about them, politely suggest they consider seeing if a qualified expert agrees. But I'd save that for cases where there's a sudden dramatic change over a few days or weeks. Any longer than that and they probably already know their own condition well enough. They don't need you shaming them just because you think they look a certain way.

As for food ethics, that's more complicated, as the article suggests, and there is perhaps a little irony in an article complaining about the excess of food ethics preachers, itself preaching food ethics. But I think it was intended to focus attention on steering clear of woo and nonsense, so the bottom line is, know your shit and keep things in perspective. Knowing a cow got grass instead of hay is kind of moot, when either way it gets shot in the skull by someone paid peanuts. Fractional differences should not get your ire up as much as the bigger worries. And made up crap shouldn't bother you at all, except to complain about how crap the made up crap is.