Scared of Fat?
For as long as I could remember the idea of consuming ‘fats’ has been terrifying to me. It’s awful just typing this statement out, and it might be surprising for many to hear me of all people saying this, being that I work with food…but the fear of eating fats was so powerful that it took over my mind most of my teenage years and into adulthood.
This negative association with fats – or ingredients that have a high fat content is something I later discovered in my professional career to be a shared fear with many people, and mainly women. This idea that fats are harmful and will ultimately make us FAT has been passed down to us via false marketing through the ages, by both the food industry and the medical field.
Without getting too much into psychology, history, and our relationship with food, this summer I am going to explore the idea of ‘making peace with fats’ through various dishes that I will bring to you in the issues to come.
The food pyramid that we learned in school (similar to the one seen in the illustration below) is now being challenged by many healthcare professionals. In fact, many say that we should turn the food pyramid upside down! Making ‘good /clean fats’ like olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, cultured butter, clean dairy and ghee on the top of the pyramid. This idea intrigues me.
Being in the food industry and feeling unsettled about fats surprisingly hasn’t impacted my work at all; the best way I can explain it is that in my mind it’s like a switch goes on when developing a dish or a recipe.
When in creativity mode, I’m looking at food as part science and part art, so I don’t tend to obsess over fats, because they fulfill a purpose that in my mind is essential from a gastronomy perspective. To be blatantly honest, this mental struggle happens ONLY when I make something for my own personal consumption!
Sounds like I have an eating disorder maybe? lol – perhaps!
Not to make light of that or of people whose health is truly at risk because of an eating disorder, but I know many of us struggle with our relationship with food, due to how society has shaped our minds to think of food and how it relates to our bodies. I think talking about our fears surrounding food and understanding them is so important, and is a step towards a healthier mind and ultimately a healthier body. Mind comes first always.
I’d like to invite you to tell me how you feel about FATS? Let’s start a conversation going, and I look forward to bringing you a series of dishes this summer that challenge the notion that fats are bad for you.
Let me know your thoughts and comment below ??