Food Philosophies

Whether she intended or not, sharonrouco's thread inspired a few interesting points to think about. How we define our personal food philosophy depends a lot on our knowledge of food, it's production, distribution, consumption, and nutrition.

For example, we can define food philosophies in several different ways:

1. Biochemical - all food is made up of fats, sugars, proteins, water, and some modifications thereof; there really isn't much difference except in which iterations can be digested vs what can't.

2. Nutritional/dietetic - where food choices are made to promote healthy lifestyle, e.g. fast food vs balanced diet; south beach vs atkins vs vegetarianism (as a way to promote health); avoiding gluten for celiac disease or certain dairy for lactose intolerance.

3. Moral/ethical - the prototypical example being misinformed vegetarianism (all meat is evil, but cheese is humane) vs veganism where the only reasonable arguments stem from concerns about husbandry; "organic" also falls into this category.

4. Batshit crazy (TM, Adam Kuban) - which applies to pure "raw" or "paleo" diets, "purging/cleansing/detox" diets, liquid/pill diets, won't eat foods that begin with the letter "B", etc.

I think most of us fall into #2. We make informed choices about our food. We may be right and we may be wrong about our understanding, but ultimately we're trying to balance taste and functionality with our diet. Even die-hard "carnivores" are still making a decision based on taste, as opposed to a moral or ethical stance.

The more you know about food, the more you begin to realize how arbitrary the distinctions are being made by proponents of #3 and #4. A lot of plant products involve animals at some point in the process and I think that was the point the OP was trying to make.

The problem is, as you move down the list, you move away from science/facts and more towards lay theories, trendy books/diets, infomercials, and just plain batshit crazy (tm) subjectivity.


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