Have you ever gone to a birthday party or holiday and there was nothing healthy to eat? I have. I just went to a party where they were serving the poorest quality food (in terms of nutritional value). There were hot dogs, Doritos, a bean dip covered in sour cream, not a piece of fruit or vegetable tray in sight. As a matter of health, and taste, I never eat any of these items. I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but I don’t eat junk (artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, etc). I wouldn’t mind eating carrot sticks and water for lunch, but there was literally nothing to eat. I felt like I needed to eat to be polite. I felt like a food snob for feeling like these offerings were gross. But then I changed my mind. If I were a strict vegan I wouldn’t feel obligated to eat a hot dog. I wouldn’t feel rude refusing non-kosher food, if that was my lifestyle. In fact, a vegetarian might be annoyed to be invited somewhere where only meat was being offered. I don’t eat unhealthy food. Why should I compromise my commitment because others don’t care about their health or are under-educated about nutrition? I shouldn’t. If you are a healthy eater you shouldn’t feel pressured to eat unhealthy in an effort to be polite. If anything, it is impolite to invite people over and expect them to eat and feed their children food that contributes to ill-health. No one needs to be fussy when they are a guest, but health is a perfectly legitimate conviction. “Thanks, but I already ate” is a perfectly polite way to refuse.
It would be nice to have some sort of group affiliation. When offered a hot dog, a vegetarian just says, “oh, I’m vegetarian.” If you are not a vegetarian it would be nice to have your own label, like “oh I am a ‘lifelong’ or a ‘live-well’.” We need a good term that would basically mean we don’t eat any processed crap because we want to live a long, healthy life. For example a vegetarian might eat French fries, a ‘Life-long’ would feel like the potatoes have been ruined. A ‘Live-well’ bakes cookies from scratch and doesn’t use food coloring as opposed to using box mixes or those creepy frozen cookie loaves. Vegetarians and vegans could benefit from this term as well. If they have a nutritional standard in addition to their refusal of meat and/or dairy, they could call themselves ‘Live-well vegans’ or something. Any ideas out there for coining a good term and developing this concept?