Living with food fascists … does this category sound faintly familiar today?


Sometimes I have felt that the simple ways in which I often cook, serve, and share food with others is under constant scrutiny from others. Apparently, this is a common enough occurence to occasion the article cited here.

From the Financial Times of London:

“The preparation for your average dinner party these days often begins with having to ask your guests whether there is anything they don’t eat. We used to do this to be polite to vegetarians and anyone with violent allergies. Now we get long lists from those on a low-GI diet, those demanding rapeseed oil over olive and which sauces should be withheld. Food is examined as never before. Food has become the new fitness – a way of measuring your commitment to yourself… you only put things in your mouth that are going to respect the temple that your body has become. This would be fine if such obsessives didn’t demand we follow suit … the food fascists need to proselytise. Children’s eating habits have become the new benchmark of parenting. Food fascists, of course, try to back up their restricted choices by pointing out they are doing so for their health. Occasionally food fascists slip up. Diktats once written in stone have to be revised. Some food fascists are cracking under the pressure. My former vegetarian sister-in-law (former on both counts) used to dig packaging out of bins just to check the ingredients didn’t contain any animal products. Ten years later, she’s eating bacon sandwiches. A French teacher of mine was vegetarian – a diet she stuck to with religious fervour – but had one curious exception: foie gras…”

I really laughed out loud while reading this article … can the Food Fascists really live on what they want us all to eat? Is that ascetic life really worth living for someone as interested in food as I am? Not only a good article but it also provides one with numerous “defenses” to ward off these people with panache …

Living With the Food Fascists (Financial Times, August 5 2006)

2 Responses to Living with food fascists … does this category sound faintly familiar today?

  1. fiat lux says:

    Best line from the piece: “Like many messages, the healthy eating one seems to be lost on those who need it most and taken to extremes by those who need it least.”

  2. kristin says:

    This is like what PETA is doing in some cities with foie gras and that is really sad.

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