Weighing up your words
Updated: Sep 20, 2018
I was ordering my daily coffee yesterday and noticed a young South Asian man in front of me ordering a ‘dirty chai’ i.e. chai tea with a shot of espresso. Naturally, I asked him about his order and he described it with a guilty tone.
So I started thinking about ‘clean eating’ and then of course about ‘sins’ in general. In our Anglo-Saxon culture , there is a polarity between pleasure and virtue which impacts on our views about ourselves and food and, of course, sex.
In reality, food does not have moral value. There are no legislated moral standards around any food or the person consuming it.
However, our language around food is so inflected with judgement. Eating ‘clean or dirty’ implies that the consumer is also ‘clean or dirty’.
Let’s stop linking guilt and shame with pleasure when it comes to food. Eating cake should just be a pleasure and not a moral crisis.
Yes, it’s cake but you will almost certainly eat something different tomorrow.