You Are What You Eat, So I Only Eat Food That’s Insufferably Pious and Condescending

By Nate Waggoner

Let me tell you a story: I used to be like you. I used to eat food that I thought would give me instant gratification. I was the junk food king! Snickers. Twizzlers. McDonald’s. And then I noticed something. I was sluggish, I was depressed, but worst of all: I was self-deprecating and down-to-Earth.

It’s a cliche to say that you are what you eat, but think about it: literally, the matter that makes up your brain and your heart is made out of the food you choose to put inside you. So now when I go to the grocery store I think, is the food I’m buying made of the same stuff as I would like to be made up of? Am I fun, but then gross? Or am I joyless, and inaccessible to most working people?

Think of it like you’re choosing your friends. When I go to the grocery store and see Mr. Goodbar in the aisle, I think, “This fellow is a blast for a few seconds, but then he leaves me feeling bad about myself! Maybe he isn’t so fun after all.” Then I see Mr. Avocado and I think, “Now this is the sort of friend who can really let me lord my healthy eating habits over normal people like a real fuckin’ asshole.” And that’s ultimately what I’m looking for in nutrition as well as in life.

My former constant companion, the cookie, is full of torpor and bad energy. But his holiness, Lord Carrot, always gives me an excuse to make subtle digs at friends’ and acquaintances’ health, appearances, and even their income. Sometimes I’ll get so high and mighty that my voice will begin to veer into British accent territory. And isn’t that much more fun and fulfilling?

Shopping for me is basically like, “This quinoa sure is on its high horse today, I’ll take it!” “Who do these clementines think they are? A dozen please!” “You can tell these heirloom tomatoes take an imperious tone with everyone they encounter and clearly have NO idea how a cash register works!”

I used to stuff Clif bars into my mouth as I constantly ran from engagement to engagement– concerts! friends’ weddings! jury duty!– but not anymore. Now I’ve said “Yes” to feeling good about life and I spend 100% of my time mashing up vegetables, baking bread, and carefully curating everything I consume. What about you? Does the physical material you’re made of live up to the standards by which I’ve chosen to judge people?

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Nate Waggoner

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