Food snobbery

I have been doing this blog well over a year now, a year and some change. I have talked about a fair amount of topics. It’s been a while but if you are a regular reader, you know I like food…a lot. I like good food and when the spirit moves me, I like, no love to cook. Sadly the spirit has not been moving me since my ass is struggling to just get past this month. I swear December is the culmination of all that plagues those living on the financial edge and yours truly gets to hear it all. By the time I get home, I have no energy to even think of providing nourishment to my family…thank goodness for a freezer stuffed with soups! As well as a few trusty inexpensive places to eat at when I need to eat out!

Anyhoo, in all the talk of good food, organic food, healthy food, it might be easy to assume that I fall into the food snob category. Well, it’s an easy mistake to make since it seems anyone who fits a certain criteria clearly would never eat junk food or feed it to their kid. Um….not at all.

In fact I was happy after a conversation with a local friend the other day where we were discussing the merits of chili dogs and it turned out we had both grown up eating chili dogs made with Hormel canned chili with no beans. Even now as adults, a proper chili dog at home needs to have Hormel’s canned chili at least for me. Yeah, I know how to make chili from scratch and in the cold weather months, I do it often. But when I feel the urge for a chili gog, I reach for the canned chili.

Now I know for some of my readers as well as some in my personal circle that probably sounds like a gross admission. I mean let’s face it canned foods really have a pretty bad reputation. Maybe it’s because of my work but I have to admit the growing trend towards food snobbery at times gets on my nerves. Yeah, its nice to have a lovely home cooked meal made from scratch with wholesome foods but in a time when so many are struggling to just put food in their bellies, I can’t get worked up on what people eat. Let’s face it sometimes it’s just not financially feasible for some to eat healthy. It’s funny because we live in a time when it’s frankly more costly to eat healthy than it is to simply eat. As I have developed my own cooking skills, while I find cooking to be relaxing at times, fact is it often requires more, not just in cash, but in time and tools, things that some lack.

Recently I was in a discussion where someone asked why would anyone use creamed soups when they can make them? Good question. My guess is because it’s a time-consuming endeavor, I like creamed soups and make them often, but if I was making a meal that required a creamed soup, I’d probably use a canned soup instead of making it from scratch. Unless I had one already in my freezer, leftover from a previous meal.

I am a big believer in moderation. Now a steady diet of canned unwholesome foods is bad for you, yet at times it seems that those of us who admit to liking less than healthy foods tend to be seen an unenlightened bunch. The fact is anything can be bad for you, I have met too many vegetarians who frankly were not healthy eaters.

The thing is when you look down or make judgements on folks based off what they eat, what purpose does it serve? Food is a deeply personal thing, many of our attitudes and thoughts on food are shaped by our childhood and while many of us may change the way we eat as adults (hello…I am a Black woman with southern roots, fried chicken, fried fish, collard greens cooked in pork products anyone?), sometimes even the healthiest, most organic eating folks still have appetites for things based off our youth.

While I have no problem with anyone eating a certain way, it’s when we use food as a means to judge and look down at others which is not cool.

4 thoughts on “Food snobbery

  1. Hey there Shay!

    I haven’t been by here in a while since I’ve been spending a lot more time engaging with crazies and extremists who are on Facebook!! *LOL*

    It’s funny that you mention Hormel Chili… I have never even eaten canned chili in my life. Seriously. I have never even purchased anything with the Hormel label on it.

    So this discussion about food snobbery is quite interesting… it made me think about why I haven’t eaten certain foods. There are some foods in the grocery store (and some brands) that are referred to as “trash dumpster droppings in a can” by some of my friends.

    It is amazing to me that people are THAT brand conscious that they won’t even put certain brands in their grocery cart because of their perception of the types of people who eat the food…or maybe they have some other reason but I don’t know…

    I have never felt comfortable in a grocery store… it feels like such a foreign place for me…I don’t like pushing a grocery cart and don’t like the notion of hunting for food in a maze!! *LOL* But I digress.

    You are right in observing that people DO judge others by their food choices.

    I cringed in disgust in the movie “Precious” when the camera zoomed in on a pot of food on the stove that Precious was making. “Ewwww what’s THAT?!” I whispered to my friend. “It’s pig’s feet. I’ll explain later,” she whispered back.

  2. This is a constant discussion in my home. I tend to make what my boyfriend calls ‘restaurant food’ and I also bake and cook everything from scratch because I like food entirely too much and I think the effort is, I don’t know… fun, lol. Somehow I managed to grow up without ever having a casserole, a one pot meal type of situation, frozen fish sticks (I did, however indulge in the fried chicken, and various green vegetables cooked in any type of pork fat during the holidays because it is intensely delicious). I know I’ve been a food snob with him. I mean, he would start talking about Chef Boyardee and TasteeKakes (I’m from the west coast, so I’m sure if I even spelled that properly) and I would just be disgusted. He sometimes questions my blackness because I don’t know about rice and gravy (Am I the only one who has never had this combo??)

    I said all this to say, I think we both judge each other when it comes to food. He loves the food I make, and I love the food he makes, but when I reach for the roquefort I can see the mental eye roll, lol. And still want to vomit whenever he picks up box brownies. We’ve been together for quite some time so all the snobbery is done jokingly and lovingly. Its just such a surprise how attached we were to our food choices and how many side-eyes we threw at each other for them.

  3. Ahhh, my kinda post 🙂 I use canned foods a lot because I don’t know how to make it from scratch. I love creamed soups but whenever I ask someone how to make it they give me this long recipe and I forget to write it down and I’m back to square one. It is much more expensive to eat healthy and organically which is why most of these “healthy” grocery chains aren’t in the hood because people like me aren’t thinking about health benefits. I’m thinking “how much can I get for $100 to last me till next week?”

    I do cook more often now usually borrowed recipes and I have been buying more fruits & veggies (for the kids…I hate veggies) but it’s a combination of both. While living in the ‘burbs, I’d meet stay-at-home moms who cook every meal from scratch and only bought certain non-artificial no preservatives things even for chicken nuggets. Not everyone has that time and ppl do judge when you say anything related to a can. I think it’s realistic (and less stress) to have a balance between both worlds.

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