Do you find it harder and harder to entertain people at your place for a meal? I do. Not just because I am lazy (yes, I am), but because I find it exceedingly difficult to cater to people’s different habits and likes and dislikes.
I always ask people what they like/dislike or are allergic to. It is common courtesy, I believe. Recently, I have been thinking about stopping because the lists are growing so long that entertaining people food-wise seems to be a ‘mission impossible’. I have had people coming to my place and bringing their own bread even though I buy quite a few varieties of bread when I entertain. I find that a bit insulting: I mean, who has died of eating one type of bread or the other once or twice? No, these are not people with severe allergies; they just have, at some recent point, made up their minds that this is the only bread they are going to eat no matter what.
And worse than that, some people try to impose what they eat on me when we go out. Suddenly, everyone seems to be a food and nutrition expert with a long list of culprits. Last time I went out with a friend of mine, she ordered green tea (without asking me), and when I politely declined saying that I didn’t care for the taste, she stared at me in awe for a while. Then she told me how horrible coffee was (just because one non-research article by someone outside an academic institution said so).
You would think everyone knows, or should know, that perils of different foods and chemicals can come out over long term, detailed, controlled studies. Even then any food or drink or … can have positive and negative effects. A huge part of this perceived knowledge is mostly gained through random sites on internet or self-help books/articles and often is simply misinformation. The reason being they are not part of long term studies by experts, more like opinions or feelings.
Over the last 20 years I have heard about fat, fiber, hydrocarbons, flax, … as ‘number one foes and friends’ of humans. And I have observed people going overboard to the point of obsession with what to eat/not to eat. I have also observed the enormous growth of diet products and plans, supplements, cleansers on one side and people in general growing not necessarily healthier or happier. Just more fussy. Well, maybe its time to rethink our likes, dislikes, and habit and decide how much of it is controlled by us and how much of it by others who have a vested interest in our eating one thing and avoiding the other. Perhaps then we can enjoy eating and sharing meals together more.