Panic in the Kitchen: Blogging, liberty, and the fear of the dinner plate | Kate Williams | The Hypocrite Reader: One’s own diet is the perfect arena in which to (literally) internalize one’s stance on personal liberty. As long as we have the means to choose our meals, food becomes a deeply personal choice. We are, after all, the ones putting the fork into the pasta and sticking it in our mouths. Our fears and desires are easily manifested on the plate: even eaters who eat just about anything often show preference for certain foods based on mood or weather (Google “eat your feelings”). Using a diet to demonstrate difference is a simple extension of emotional eating.
Demonstrating difference is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. The problem with this way of eating is that it reduces food to a sort of obligatory social contract instead of a source of enjoyment. As in the political arena at large, associating with members across the aisle is not only ill thought of, it is also socially dangerous. Where once there was curiosity, now there is fear. Engaging with the online food media means sifting through a pile of dos and don’ts; the consequences of mixing these up, many argue, can be deadly. As Americans, we are already fearful of government shutdowns, global warming, terrorist attacks, and the next election. We don’t need to be afraid of our food, too