So, a columnist whose work I really like wrote about me and my Holistic Moms group in the Washington Post in an article that was titled on paper “Healthier eating, a nibble at a time” but appears online here as “No need to go hog-wild in making healthier food choices.”
I already posted some comments online, that if you feel good about your choices, that doesn’t mean anyone else has to feel bad about hers. I elaborated on the “it’s not a choice” for me issue — if I don’t live like this (specifically paying close attention to what I eat), I feel bad and am putting myself at risk of serious health problems (that would cost a lot of money to address if I weren’t spending my money on good quality food).
I’m glad for the exposure, but several folks I’ve talked to about the article are bummed that it succumbed to the tired old “McDonalds vs. health food store” dichotomy. I wish enthusiasm the author shared with me had outshone the piece’s intimidated tone. In a personal reflective piece about the author’s own experiences, it seems jarring to bring in the “but not everyone can afford this” via a low-income woman talking about not being able to afford (and also not liking) vegetables. My husband complained that including this example is like inserting in an article on home renovation “but not everyone has a safe place to live” or in a travel article, “Must be nice to go to a spa when all those people in Haiti just want clean water.”
There are real problematic reasons why crappy food is so cheap and accessible, and that’s worth discussing. Just not as a way to suggest that the things my friends and holistic mama sisters are doing in the name of health is some kind of elitist pursuit.