Do you judge people by what they’re eating?November 12, 2013 by Lindsay
In their article, Why do we judge people by the food they eat?, The Guardian provided some interesting material to think about. In particular, the idea of food profiling struck a chord. Back in the day (way back in the day) if someone ate muesli, they were immediately identified as a counter-revolutionary hippie – ditto for brown rice, soy beans, and kale. But given the widespread popularity of all of these foods now (substitute granola for muesli) it is illuminating that cultural context for foods can change rapidly. And indicative of why this kind of profiling is rather absurd.
And there is another kind of food profiling that is also absurd – when it is used to supposedly reveal truths about personalities, rather than just a cultural context. What can you tell about a person who insists on cutting meat off a chicken bone rather than picking it up and chomping on it? The immediate reaction is that the person is awfully fastidious – but maybe that’s just the way it was done in their childhood home? Or what about the person who always orders vanilla ice cream – does that mean they’re a fuddy duddy and not exciting or experimental? Speaking as someone who is married to just such a vanilla fanatic, I’m pretty confident I can say no.
So as we approach a holiday season that is very often centered around food – prepared and eaten in a cultural, traditional, and social context – it might be a good idea to remember to keep an eye out for an understandable, but not advisable, tendency that most of us share of delivering judgements based on what or how someone eats.
Photo of Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce from Martha Stewart, recipe available here.
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