Food Incognito

It’s been no secret that I like to try out some crazy recipes in the attempt to use up our farm share vegetables.  (Exhibit A: Beet Brownies.)  

Or that I’m the kind of person who can’t take a hint. (Exhibit B: Beet Cookies.)

Kids under 2 liked these cookies – Adults? Not so much.

Or that I really like one liner jokes. (Exhibit C: What do you want for dinner tonight?  Beets me!)

The author doing a corny jokes one-liner act at her church.

But what was a secret to me up until a few days ago is that food and disguise really do have a lot of things in common.  Here are some of the things I learned about the way that food can have a darker side.

Disguises can be used to hide dangerous practices

You may remember the scandal earlier this year about “pink slime” an “ammonia-treated meat paste that appears in some 70 percent of supermarket ground beef.”  Because very few Americans know where their meat or really most of their food at all come from, much can be hidden from the consumers.  In fact, in that linked article above it lists five other chemicals that routinely appear in food on grocery store shelves.  And because consumers don’t often take the time to research (and believe me, I’m one of those consumers most of the time as well) it always comes as a surprise when we realize we’ve been fooled by food marketing and agrobusinesses.

Disguises can be used to trick people into behaving in un-characteristic ways

For example there is a pervasive belief that low fat food is healthier than full fat food – so much so that it can be difficult to find full fat food at the grocery store, or consume it without some small twinge of culturally created guilt.  However, what often happens is that people end up eating more of low fat foods, which is unhealthier than eating a reasonable portion of the fuller fat item. Best foods with lots of healthy fats: avocado and almonds.

Disguises cover up what’s really happening.

Geneen Roth, author of Women Food and God talks about eating and food as “the way [people] leave themselves when life gets hard.”  Plenty of people use food as a way to disguise or at least ignore emotions like boredom, anger, depression, sadness, and even happiness.   Food is allowed to be a sanctioned (and cheap) way of therapy for many of life’s problems and difficulties for some people.

What are some of your experiences with food in disguise – or do you disagree with any of these points?  – Drop us a comment!

-Beth Melillo

PS.  If you’re the type of person who likes corny jokes – we should talk in person. Also, here is a great link to some food jokes that will have you laughing after this more serious post.

If you liked this post consider reading: Two CSA Freshwomen Tell All


One response to “Food Incognito

  1. I’ve never really thought about food as a disguise before but it is. I love to unwind from my day by cooking a meal. I love to read about it and spend too much time on it. I guess it is therapy of a sort.

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