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. 🙂