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Food Education Only in ‘Merica

Posted by Emily Beers on

I’m not one to push one single diet to the masses. In fact, I think diet is more of an art than a science; people need to spend some time dabbling to discover what works for them.

But whether you’re a carnivore, a vegetarian, a vegan, or you follow Paleo, Zone, Adkins, or a low-fat diet, there’s at least one thing everyone agrees upon: There are three macro nutrients - carbohydrates, fats and proteins. 

That’s it. After that, diet is a crapshoot.

Not to rip on our American neighbours, but a few instances in recent weeks have led me to wonder about dietary education of the average citizen. Not about their food choices. I understand giving in to food cravings as much as the next person. I’m talking about an understanding, or lack there of, about the building blocks that make up our food - carbs, proteins and fats.

3. Columbus, Ohio in February, 2015 in a hotel bar:

Random Dude in his 50s: “Are you an athlete?”

Me: “I go to the gym every now and again.”

Dude: “So you watch your diet? When was the last time you ate a big steak?”

Me: “I’m not a huge steak fan, but it’s because I don’t love the taste. Not because it’s not healthy. I think steak’s a pretty healthy choice.”

Dude: “My doctor said I need more protein in my diet so I’ve been trying to eat more leafy greens.”

Me: Confused look. 

2. Tacoma, Washington in May, 2015

Ordering a smoothie in Panera Breads, it comes to our attention that they’re promoting low-fat yogurt smoothies.

Tom: “Can I have a high-fat smoothie? Can you use regular yogurt instead of the low-fat yogurt?”

Employee: “Jim, do we have anything other than low-fat yogurt? This guy wants some protein.”

Tom (under his breath): “Actually, I want fat.”

Other employee: “What about the spinach smoothie. Is there protein in spinach?”

1. Las Vegas in June, 2015

Overhead at a restaurant:

Overweight mother to disturbingly overweight child: “Eat your oatmeal. You’re a growing boy. Your body needs protein.”

Child: “What’s protein?”

Mother: “I don’t know exactly. It’s good for you, though. And oatmeal is full of it.”




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