A certain conversation has reared its head at the various potlucks, restaurants, tea parties, bars and coffee shops that I frequented over the past year. It seems like everyone queer/living in East Vancouver/over the age of twenty has a food hang up. These beliefs have undone several dinner parties, restaurant outings and potlucks as concessions had to be made to accommodate the offended party. Sure, some of the dietary restrictions were medical (eg. lactarded/diabetes/celiac/Crohn’s Disease/other allergies) or religious (eg. Kosher ftw) and these modifications were greeted with open arms and fridge doors. However, a large number of -itarians have their own belief systems governing their forks and their wagging tongues.
Political food habits were and still are de rigueur. When I became a serious eater, I looked at my eating habits and tried to label myself.
Was I a vegan? I quickly crossed this descriptor off the list. While I was a lactard and would die if I ever downed a glass of milk; eggs, yogurt and cheese were clear staples in my Pantry.
Was I a vegetarian? I have cooked meat once in my life. I hate having it in my fridge. I fear cooking it. I am constantly terrified of contracting Salmonella or E. coli. At the point of this debate I hadn’t eaten it in 6 months. A subsequent visit to a local sushi restaurant with low will power promptly answered that question.
Was I a Pescatarian? Last summer I thought I could be Pescatarian. Again, meat was off the table and had been for a long time. I was fine, dandy and elitist for a few months. But then there was crisp toasted Muscovy duck skin. And Applewood smoked lardons. And homemade biltong. And steak tartare.
Damnit, this was the final straw. I had gained a foodgasm and lost an identity. I still refused to cook meat, buy meat or eat meat that wasn’t extraordinary. I caved when anything smoked and cured came near me but poo-pooed burgers, steaks, hot dogs, chicken wings and ribs. I knew I was still a snob and refused to put certain foods on my fork, but I didn’t think hypocrititarian was a viable food identity.
So wait, what the fuck was I?
Fast forward a few months. While repeating this conversation with a friend over beers at the Alibi Room she misheard my slurred words and questioned “Fooditarian?” At first I laughed at my mumbling prowess, but I quickly realized how perfectly it described my belief system.
I have no particular political or ethical reasons preventing me from eating meat. Lowering my meat consumption may lower my carbon footprint, but most of the veggies from my green grocer are imported (I doubt they traveled under their own power). A vegetarian diet would surely improve my health, but so would removing all pastries, alcohol and fried food from my plate.
I eat food that tastes good. I frequent restaurants that have a passionate staff that make the experience worth it. I cook and bake my own food when I can and I reduce the processed foods in my diet. I try to eat locally if my budget affords it. I eat well.
I eat as a Fooditarian should.