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.

4 comments:

  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!

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  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.

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

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    Replies
    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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