Our society treats food like a magic pill. While food certainly can be healing, there’s a lot that food can’t do.
Hey guys! Thanks for still sticking around while I’ve been quiet on the blog front. I’ve spent the past week in Boston for our national dietitians conference, FNCE. The past few days have been jam packed with socializing with friends, both old and new, attending brand events, networking at the expo, and attending educational seminars…phew! I think I need a nap.
My favorite seminar was one by Jessica Setnick, Marci Evans and Dr. Steven Bratman, who discussed orthorexia. If you’ve never heard of orthorexia, it’s when healthy eating becomes an unhealthy obsession. And in a society obsessed with clean eating, food as medicine and glorifying restricted eating as discipline, it’s becoming more and more common.
One of the points Jessica made really stood out to me. When discussing the importance of dietitians in the treatment of orthorexia, she said “We as dietitians are going to be at the forefront of identifying orthorexia nervosa because we know what food can and can’t do.”
This got me thinking. As much as I believe in the healing power of food, there are limits. But the way food is discussed, treated and thought about, it’s imbued with almost magical qualities. There’s a lot that food can’t do, yet we continuously turn to it as a solution.
Food cannot provide friendship and love. Or at least, not in the same way as other human beings can. We talk about our “relationship” with food, but really it’s pretty one sided.
Food cannot turn back time. If escaping with food is a way of escaping the shame of your past, it sounds like there’s something you need to confront, not run away from.
Food can heal your body. But if the pursuit of healing becomes destructive, it doesn’t matter how many green juices and you drink or organic local seasonal vegetables you eat, you will remain sick.
Food cannot sustainably change the body you are genetically coded to have. You can try, but your body will fight back, like, hard.
Food is pretty great, but at the end of the day, it’s nourishment, not a magic pill.