Friday, February 3, 2012

maybe i'm a food snob

Okay, I suppose it's not a maybe, it's a resounding yes. Yes, yes, yes! I'm a food snob. I tried to deny it; tried to sugar-coat it; tried to justify it; tried to tie it up in a pretty package.

No more. I admit unequivocally that I believe without question and with definite prejudice that food should be---well, food.

At home I demand it. At work I am about ready to give up.

I teach at a small school, so our staff lounge accommodates about a dozen people, a few more if we squeeze them in. Our refrigerator is usually full to over-flowing with fast-food leftovers, pseudo-food condiments, bread, margarine, large plastic soda bottles, cheese spreads, and other similar items. The freezer is packed with low-cal or diet meals. People toast bread and bagels pretty much every morning, so I avoid the area if at all possible. If someone has a birthday, the obligatory box of semi-edible doughnuts makes an appearance. Pot lucks mean nachos or potatoes covered with edible food-like gook. Sometimes it's casseroles and fruit mixed with jello and cool whip. I used to try to attend without eating before I realized just breathing in that closed-in environment would necessitate leaving work early and in pain almost every time.

Today was in a class of its own. A well-liked and well-respected teacher is leaving. He will still be working with our program, though not with us. He's happy and excited and a bit sad, I'm sure. Today, the staff, a dozen or fewer people total, put together a breakfast for him in the staff lounge before work. I tried to get myself to go, but fear and a heavy workload convinced me to pass on breakfast. I did venture into the lounge at lunch. It had been a crazy-busy morning, and I'd simply forgotten about the breakfast earlier in the day. The large, very large in fact, table was covered completely with the remains of that breakfast. I will not, cannot, call it food. Several dozen doughnuts, a box of Mexican pastries, and a few low-end sweetroll type pasties covered with sticky white icing remained. An empty 3 quart baking dish held what had not been scraped off the sides of something akin to country potatoes, though  with cheese and milk and "butter." A half dozen pancakes made with Betty Crocker's complete mix (add water only) along with maple flavored syrup and margarine sat next to dishes of scrambled eggs (possibly) and a variety of fried patties of some sort (possibly a vegetarian offering.) Several large containers of different types of salsa, the closest thing I saw to food, were scattered around the table. Piles of flour tortillas were uneaten, and extra bottles of sugar-sweetened "juice" were waiting for snackers to venture in. Coffee here always has a variety of "creamer" options and artificially flavored syrups and other additions.

Did I mention that our school has at most 8 teachers, a principal, one secretary, one campus supervisor (security) and a few instructional aides? There was enough fake food in that room to force feed everyone many times over, and those were the leftovers.

Yes, I'm a food snob. Yes, I should be ashamed of myself. These are nice people. But these nice people deserve more than artificial food-like substances and a distribution system that makes all this seem desirable. As for me, as always, I don't know what to say, so I say little. I don't know what to do, so I do little. All I know to do is continue with my program, continue to eat as clean as I can, and answer questions when asked. It may be all there is to do; I just never feel like it's enough.


  1. Knowing what you like and what doesn't make you sick doesn't necessarily make you a snob. I wouldn't eat the most of what you listed and I don't consider myself a snob. --although others may call me one!

  2. Thanks, Kristen, I appreciate the generosity of your comment. Sometimes I just don't know if I'm being snippy or snobbish or just discriminating. It drives me crazy when people are tired or ill or stressed over weight and eat artificial everything.

  3. I guess I am a snob as well then :)

    1. Maybe all of us "food snobs" should unite. Then again, that's pretty much what we're doing, isn't it?


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