Thursday, 17 November 2011

Is change a personal threat?

When people notice that I eat differently from the norm they usually seem to take it as some kind of a personal threat. They are instantly ready to defend their bad eating habits by all costs and often get insulted if I criticise something they eat. Why is it that eating is so personal? By common sense one would think that if you are told that what you consume is bad for you, you wouldn't want to eat it anymore, or at least you'd want to find out more. Or do they think I just make it all up because I have nothing better to do? And people are very suspicious towards my food, even if I don't say anything about it or about their microwave crap. The brave ones ask me what I eat, and sometimes they get interested and want me to tell them more, while at times they again take the difference as a personal threat and start talking about how good their food is while at the same time condemning me as some strange new-age hippie. I don't really mind all this, people can eat what they want, but I'm just a bit confused by this phenomenon of seeing eating as such a personal thing. To be honest, I hardly ever even criticise what people eat, and yet they still react as if I do. So could it be that somewhere underneath these people know they could be eating in a much healthier way? But if that's so, then why not change? Is it really that scary?



  1. Very interesting post.

    I really think that there's a set of activities that are not just so easy to change because in a way the conform our sense of the self, our identity or personhood. They usually are those that are more routinized or ritualized (as eating is) and they are deeply rooted in ourselves.

    I can compare this with same sex couples, for instance. By doing things differently you are unintendedly threaten something really important for other people: their sense of the self wich in the end means their ontological security.

    By eating differently you are not judging them, but shaking the pillars of their existence.

    Kind regards ;-),

  2. Great comment Manu, I think you're absolutely right. And you're the expert on identity ;) xx

  3. så sant, så sant! Kände igen mej där lite i texten: först när jag hör om andra matvanor o sånt så blir man fundersam, men samtidigt jätteintresserad. Jag tycker att maten du äter är supergod och skulle själv kunna äta samma saker, även om jag kanske skulle adda lite mer kött o söta grejer i min diet ;)