I have heard food is medicine, and medicine is food. Books and blogs tell us how important food is to our health, and it can’t really be argued that our food has no effect on our body and its health. However, sometimes the medicine we need isn’t able to be broken down into a list of ingredients, into a table of nutrition facts.
Sometimes what we eat feeds the soul, or feeds the memory or the need for comfort, the need to eat quickly or the need to eat cheaply. The need to explore a new cuisine or taste a freakin deep fried Oreo. And that is OK.
I keep harping on this topic over and over because I see so much judgmental talk about food, bodies, class, culture, alleged health and weight status. I see many people who think they have it al figured out. YOU DON”T HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT. And neither do I. “Experts” don’t have it all figured out. Paleo food isn’t perfect. Raw food isn’t perfect. Vegan food isn’t perfect.
And who needs perfect anyway?
It can end up looking like self-centered overthinking without enough focus on the big picture. It can end up looking like a focus on personal choice, without nods to informed choice, access to choices, problematic systems of food production and distribution, the right to express one’s (possibly politically incorrect) identity through food and the basic fact that some of us are choosing between gluten and non-gluten cookies while others are literally subsisting on dumpster gruel.
Without food justice there can be no food choice.
Without food security for everyone I don’t want to hear that there aren’t enough dairy-free low-carb options on your international airline flight.
Food is evolving, medicine is evolving. Increased access and informed choice for ALL, not just the chosen few, is medicine. Food is and is not medicine, but sometimes a Whiskey sour and a plate of Poutine is just what the doctor ordered.