Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The New Kosher


Kosher food is prepared in a certain way and it's blessed a certain way and all of this needs to be certified for us to know that it's Kosher.  The people who keep Kosher are serious about it, and when they're away from home, they need to carefully examine their food to know if it's okay for them to eat.  They are being obedient to their religion's interpretation of God's laws.

Lately it has been striking me that a larger and larger number of people have a new Kosher, only they call it organic, non GMO, local, vegan, raw, paleo, gluten free, whatever it is. ( I myself avoid wheat, dairy, meat and sugar so I'm part of this trend).

I live in a community of 25 households where we occasionally share meals.  Some of the people who cook here are happy to accommodate all sorts of diets.  Some are less happy.  In general, the people who eat mainstream appear less happy to accommodate than the people who eat in these newer ways.

But what is mainstream?  Increasingly, there have been so many vegetarian meals served in our community that some are feeling that their diets of needing more meat or protein and less raw vegetables, are being marginalized.  And sometimes the vegetarian cooks draw the line at providing meat. Where does it stop?

Whether or not we want to take the time to accommodate all diets, it is now indisputable that what we believe about the properties of what we eat affects us.  As I posted in Mind Over Milkshake, it is now scientifically verifiable that the body physically reacts to labels on food differently depending on what's on the label not just what's in the food.

So when my neighbor says, "I don't believe in gluten free," that's highly relevant--for them, but maybe not for me.  I do believe that when I eat less wheat gluten, I feel better.  The fact that I believer this, means it will be true.    The fact that they don't, means they probably shouldn't bother.

There seem to be so many people that like to complain about and belittle gluten free, or organic or paleo, many of them in the mainstream American media.

Meanwhile, The New York Times recently reported that not only is gluten free dining prevalent in pasta-laden Italy, but specialized products for people with gluten intolerance are subsidized by the government! -- see Gluten Free Dining in Italy.

Even if we're not ready to subsidize it, maybe it's time for all the backlashes and the backlashes against the backlashes (is there a nonviolent way to say "backlash"?) where we all pooh pooh each other's choice to stop and for us to move towards a genuinely tolerant society where we respect each other's beliefs about food, much as we might at least try to respect each other's beliefs about religion.

1 comment:

Harry Mersmann said...

But doesn't it follow that you should simply be able to change your thoughts/opinions/feelings about gluten and then it would not affect you?