Food Culture Paradox

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Food is a big part of our culture. Three most important celebrations: Birth, Marriage, Death — are always celebrated or commemorated with food. Even in the daily life, food plays a very important role in our culture. It shapes us, it defines us. And we do… I mean, really do love our food.

We love our food so much we want everybody else to love it too. We cannot handle seeing other people not eating something. When we go abroad, and see some unique local food, the first thing we do is buy some extra so that our family and friends at home would be able to try them too.

Ever seen an Asian on a restaurant? While some people would start their meal by saying grace? We won’t start tucking in until we get a really good food photo. For what? Well… We just want to tell people that we know (or we don’t)  that we just had a great meal. And it is important. Good food means good life.

However…

As much as we love food, and feeding people. We worship skinny figure.

We don’t like fat people. We would encourage people to go on a diet, or suggest a really nice tea that somehow could melt down the extra fat on our thigh. Sometimes even, we didn’t realise how hurtful that is for the other party. But of course… we did it because we love them — or so we thought.

This is what I call “The Food Culture Paradox”. As a culture that embrace food, we have become a bunch of enabler for binge eater. We feed them because we love them. We want them to enjoy the finest thing in life and in our case it is a packet of pocky, green tea kitkat, macaroons, and blueberry cheese cake. We saw their waistline get bigger and bigger most of the time pushing to the dangerous limit. But we can’t stop feeding them, can we?

I admit that I have this problem too. I know that some members of our family don’t need more encouragement to binge. But every time I visit home, I would ask them if they want to have pork scratching or jaffa cakes. I know that my husband needs to cut down on sugar and fat, but still twice a week there would be cupcakes baking in the oven, or unlimited supply of biscuits in the jar.

What to do then?

To be honest? I don’t know.

Where to draw the line between being kind and wanting your friend or family to enjoy the food that you do enjoy too, and being an enabler for someone who are obviously addicted to comfort food? How do you know when you give that incredibly yummy cake, that you are not actually clogging their arteries with fat, and slowly killing them?

I don’t know.

But it is interesting, isn’t it?

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One response »

  1. Very interesting article and you are absolutely right. I find it so sad how we worship skinny figures and images of “perfection” — particularly among women. It is really sad and can have dramatic consequences. I say, let’s eat (sensibly)! We are lucky enough to have food 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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