The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater

The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater

I know you. We have a lot in common. You have been doing some reading and now you are pretty sure everything in the grocery store and your kitchen cupboards is going to kill you.

Before Your Healthy Eating Internet Education:

I eat pretty healthy. Check it out: whole grain crackers, veggie patties, prawns, broccoli. I am actually pretty into clean eating.

After Your Healthy Eating Internet Education:

Those crackers—gluten, baby. Gluten is toxic to your intestinal health, I read it on a forum. They should call those crackers Leaky Gut Crisps—that would be more accurate. That veggie burger in the freezer? GMO soy. Basically that’s a Monsanto patty. Did you know soybean oil is an insecticide? And those prawns are fish-farmed in Vietnamese sewage pools. I didn’t know about the sewage fish farming when I bought them, though, really I didn’t!

The broccoli, though..that’s ok. I can eat that. Eating that doesn’t make me a terrible person, unless....oh, shit! That broccoli isn’t organic. That means it’s covered with endocrine-disrupting pesticides that will make my son sprout breasts. As if adolescence isn’t awkward enough.

And who pre-cut this broccoli like that? I bet it was some poor Mexican person not making a living wage and being treated as a cog in an industrial broccoli cutting warehouse. So I’m basically supporting slavery if I eat this pre-cut broccoli. Oh my God, it’s in a plastic bag too. Which means I am personally responsible for the death of countless endangered seabirds right now.

I hate myself.

Well, shit.

All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.

That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60-year-old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD, so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.

You learn that basically, if you ignore civilization and Mark Knopfler music, the last 10,000 years of human development has been one big societal and nutritional cock-up and wheat is entirely to blame. What we all need to do is eat like cave-people.

You’re hardcore now, so you go way past way cave-person. You go all the way to The Inuit Diet™.

Some people say it’s a little fringe, but you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle. “Okay,” you say, “let’s do this shit,” as you fry your caribou steak and seal liver in rendered whale blubber. You lose some weight, which is good, but it costs $47.99 a pound for frozen seal liver out of the back of an unmarked van at the Canadian border.

Even though The Inuit Diet™ is high in Vitamin D, you learn every disease anywhere can be traced to a lack of Vitamin D (you read that on a blog post), so you start to supplement. 5000 IU of Vitamin D before sitting in the tanning booth for an hour does wonders for your hair's luster.

Maxing out your credit line on seal liver forces you to continue your internet education in healthy eating. As you read more you begin to understand that grains are fine, but before you eat them you must prepare them in the traditional way: by long soaking in the light of a new moon with a mix of mineral water and the strained lacto-fermented tears of a virgin.

You discover that if the women in your family haven’t been eating a lot of mussels for at least the last four generations, you are pretty much guaranteed a $6000 orthodontia bill for your snaggle-toothed kid. That’s if you are able to conceive at all, which you probably won’t, because you ate margarine at least twice when you were 17.

Healthy eating is getting pretty complicated and conflicted at this point, but at least everyone agrees you should eat a lot of raw vegetables.

Soon you learn that even vegetables are trying to kill you. Many are completely out unless they are pre-fermented with live cultures in a specialized $79 imported pickling crock. Legumes and nightshades absolutely cause problems. Even fermentation can’t make those healthy.

Goodbye, tomatoes. Goodbye green beans. Goodbye all that makes summer food good. Hey, it’s hard, but you have to eliminate these toxins and anti-nutrients. You probably have a sensitivity. Actually, you almost positively have a sensitivity. Restaurants and friends who want to grab lunch with you will just have to deal.

bowl of kale
Credit:notahipster.

Kale: it's what's for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast.

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