I am a product of my culture

I love when I read something that just, on a dime, gives me a whole new perspective on life.  As you know, I have just finished reading Michael Pollan’s Food Rules (which I highly recommend).

Rule #66 just rocked my world.

“Don’t be a short ordered cook.”

In other words, he explains that “eating whatever is being served is generally a good policy” for both kids and adults alike.  And then, this sentence changed my life. . .

“The food industry promotes hyper-individualism in eating-giving people exactly what they want when they want it-because doing so helps them to sell more food.”

Huh.

How many times have I obsessed over this “right” of my children to have what they want?  Reading this sentence was like a breath of fresh air.  Yes!  Yes!  I am not a short order cook!  And ALL of us could benefit from this rule.  How many times have E and I run out after putting the kids to bed for a little treat, when we have a fridge FULL of food!  Realizing that I have been trained to believe that I should eat what I want right when I want to (or what?  The world will end?) is true light-bulb moment.  Immediate relief.  Yes, I will be OKAY if I don’t eat EXACTLY what I want when I want to.  Frankly, at most times, our kitchen overfloweth!  It just might not be what I’m in the mood for!

And while, I do believe it is worth trying to find things that everybody likes, thinking that at each meal, every one in the family would eat exactly what they want is just crazy.  Helping ourselves and our children to be satisfied with what is served (and gee, how about grateful even?) seems like a worthy goal to strive for.

And this whole epiphany has me wondering.  What other messages have I received from my culture that do not serve me?  I really have only acknowledged the ones that Good Girl thought she should.  Like the body image issue for us gals.  That one is a no-brainer.  And I often sit through commercials making snarky comments (Is a bigger tumor better, huh, T-mobile dude who asks the innocent children every night if bigger is better?).  But does that really mean I’m not affected by the images and sounds that flood my living room at night?

Now I’m not so sure.

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