Having whinged on for years about not believing in diets, I’ve now gone and cut out sugar, dairy and meat completely and cut way down on carbs. Sugar, carbs and dairy are for health (with a side of weight loss, please) and meat is for…well, Cowspiracy. All of which officially makes me a fussy eater.
How could I – a so-called foodie – let this happen? I want to work at a food magazine, write my own cookbook or be the next Grace Dent, not the person who goes to a pizza restaurant and asks for a gluten-free pizza without cheese. For what is pizza without cheese? Ketchup on toast, that’s what. Except of course I can’t eat ketchup, because I DON’T EAT SUGAR.
And what is a foodie that doesn’t eat sugar, dairy or meat? No, I’m not leading up to punchline, it’s a genuine question: how can my life ever be about food when it takes me at least ten minutes to find a single item on the menu I can actually eat?
Whilst considering these questions in the shower, I had a lightbulb moment. What if everyone else is the problem? Yes, I thought, that sounds great; shirk all responsibility and blame someone or something else. Like…the food industry, for offering processed, sugary foods at every turn. And as I convinced myself of that (it wasn’t hard, think of every café/supermarket you ever walk into), I pondered the possibility of making Cowspiracy compulsory viewing because then maybe everyone could stop being gullible about the virtues of grass-fed meat and started believing the terrifying fact that in 50 years or less, there will be no fish left in the goddam sea because of the agriculture industry. And then we could start a worldwide support group where we all cry into our superfood salads.
Okay, rant over. I don’t want to be that person. The one who tries to guilt-trip those around them into spitting out their steak, but I’ve made the recent choices I have to help myself be the best person I can be on a personal and a humanist level. The devastating impact we’ve had on the planet has been so huge, can’t we use our alleged superiority and reason for good, and perhaps try to undo some of the damage we’ve done along the way?
I don’t know, maybe I’m trying to justify my choices because I’m not sure how far I can take them. Plus, I can’t help but wonder how far down the menu weight loss really is. But knowing what I do and learning what I continue to learn about good and bad foods (there, I’ve said it, some foods are ‘bad’), I can’t see myself going back to my bingey, meaty, sugary ways.
Look, I have no idea what a world without meat and dairy food looks like, because I haven’t got a grip on what my own world looks like without it. It is getting easier, but I’m still asking myself: how do I do this? Is this what I really want? And, do I want it for the right reasons?
If anyone has the answers, that would be super great, because I need them sooner than a drunk, hungry me needs a portion of cheesey chips and gravy.