How did food get so complicated?

            As many Millennials can surely understand, my relationship with food has always been complicated. I’ve passively observed the mingling, breeding, and dying of diet trends; I can recall an era dominated by the popularity of artificial sweeteners, followed quite closely by their vilification, and I’ve considered heavily the benefits of whey protein, quinoa, turmeric, and acaí (remember how excited we all were about superfoods a few years ago?). I watched my grandmother undertake the cayenne juice cleanse (a phenomenon that, no matter how purportedly healthy, I could literally not stomach), only to abandon it after a week once her system began to ache for something substantial. I’ve also heard my Mom’s marathon-runner friend rave about how yearly juice cleanses keep her energy high.

Unlike many people, my foray into the frustrating whims of health culture began long before I squeezed into my first prom dress. I was born to a health-conscious Southern California pair. My dad worked as a dermatologist, squeezing fat out of country club-goers through a tube. I think he would have made a better dietician, preventing the greasy slop from building up in the first place. Unendingly stubborn, he played the main antagonist to my voracious sweet tooth, and inflicted his health experiments on our entire family, which will likely result in a long, happy life and good habits for my sister and I.

As I’ve grown into a young adult, I’ve shed a few of my sweet teeth, grown intolerant of syrupy, electric-blue sodas, and learned to do my own shopping. All the same, my fascination with food has never waned. When my college research writing professor assigned to our class to begin chronicling our thoughts in personal blogs, this seemed a fine opportunity to wring out my thoughts on health. How do I feel about the food I eat and the principles on which I was raised? Am I really eating as well as I’ve been led to believe? How, if not through their parents, do individuals bolster healthy habits? It was obviously different for my mom to learn good habits than it is for today’s Internet-bound generation. One of the articles we read for class seemed to suggest that the dietary information feeding the Internet generation is not well-intentioned.

I hope writing this blog will help me learn more about my own health habits and the habits of others. Perhaps I’ll learn some new tidbits to stump my Dad!


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