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Food and Morality: You Are More Than What You Eat

By April 8, 2017Think

It might seem obvious to you that food and morality have no bearing on one another. Yet, we so often treat them as though they are connected. You might not recognize it as this when a friend makes an offhand comment, but we’ve all heard it before:

“I’m so good today! I had oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch.”

“Yesterday I was awful. I ate so much bad food!”

“Oh, you’re getting the burger and fries? I’m just getting a salad. With the dressing on the side.” 

What’s the issue with having this type of conversation around food? You are connecting food – something meant to fuel your body and foster joy – to morality. Morality has to do with knowing the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. It’s a big-picture kind of thing related to the type of person you are, not to something as small as the food on your plate. 

The thing is, you aren’t a bad person if you do get a burger and fries. And you are not a better person if you order a salad instead.

food and morality salad

You aren’t evil if you eat chips, and you aren’t a goddess for eating carrots.

What we eat does not define us. The food we eat does not determine whether we are good or bad people; our actions do.

When you stop attaching morality to the foods you eat, you gain a new sense of freedom. Because when you are in constant fear of food and stuck in the habit of labeling food as good or bad, your brain space is occupied with food, rather than all the other fun things life has to offer.

When you realize that you are not a bad person for getting ice cream two nights in a row, you can finally appreciate food for what it is: fuel and enjoyment.

Food and Morality: You Are More Than What You Eat

When you realize that you are no better than the person sitting next to you and eating fries while you are eating a salad, you can set your ego aside and have a conversation about something more interesting than food because you aren’t busy judging their eating habits.

Our actions define us. Our character shapes us. We have the ability to spread kindness and work on becoming a better person every day. 

Our morality is tied to those things. So, stop linking the food you eat to your morality. You are so much more than what you eat.

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Author Alyssa Cristadoro

Alyssa is a sophomore at Stonehill college. She could eat a sweet potato everyday and spends too much money on nut butter. A yogi, semi-gym rat and health nut, but also a huge believer in balance. She talks a lot about mental health and a healthy lifestyle on her blog blissful-lyss.com.

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