Is “normal” really normal?

Bringing back a classic post from August 2011. I had recently read Julianna Hever’s post “Redefining Normal” and when I came across this while going through my archives I decided to connect them both for your reading pleasure. 😉 (Ironically, my post may have also been inspired by soccer treats, as well as church treats, party treats, etc.)

“It’s helpful to realize that what is currently mainstream for dietary choices is far from normal or moderate. There is nothing normal about eating most of your food out of boxes, deep fried, or picked up at a drive up window. Such a diet is extreme, and in the world we live in today it can be hard to avoid. Even the salad dressings on the grocery store shelf may have been developed in a lab. How do I know? Well, one of my many majors in college was food science. And food scientists spend a lot of time in labs, developing new flavors, things that will sell and have a long shelf life. There is a lot of chemistry involved in that field, and as fascinating as chemistry can be, I’d rather not eat someone’s lab experiment.

I mention this because of the pervading view that eating a more natural, whole foods, and especially plant based diet is somehow extreme.

I can certainly see how it could seem that way when contrasted with the perversions that have developed in our world’s eating habits in the last 50 or 60 years. When we become more focused on appearance than health, and people are willing to do anything to lose weight and be thin, especially when it means they can keep eating all those delicious lab developed foods, that is a seriously warped perspective.

If we choose to complicate our diets to such an extent that they no longer resemble anything in the natural world, how is that normal?

I am saddened to watch all of the little children who are fed a constant diet of processed lab developed food. I believe many of them are never offered an option, and if they are it is something like cut up fruit or veggies placed in front of a child who has never really eaten them. When the children refuse to eat this “weird” unfamiliar food, their parents use that fact to defend their eating habits, “My kids just won’t eat ______”. Fill in the blank – healthy food, fruit, veggies, etc. I will say that both Melissa and I have experienced feeding children who are used to a more SAD diet, and they will eat healthy food, right off the bat if it is presented in the right way. Sure, it’s harder to work with them than a child raised to eat almost anything and to whom real food still looks like food, but it can be done. It works in much the same way that changing an adult diet does, start with things that are familiar. For instance frozen fruit smoothies in a popsicle mold are going to taste great to anyone, even and maybe especially someone who is used to frozen high fructose corn syrup.”

Julianna, the Plant Based Dietician posted a recent “rant” (in a good way :-)) on this same subject. So, if you want more, check it out here.

C

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6 thoughts on “Is “normal” really normal?

  1. Thank you for this post. One thing I stuggle with the most while on my health journey are all the ‘diet’ products out there. I’ve just focused on eating fresh produce and food I’ve made from scratch (that way I know exactly what’s in the food I eat). It takes some time and effort, but I feel better for it.

    Thanks for this post!

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