Three Words to Vote Off the Kitchen Island


I’d like to nominate two words that we would all stop using in regard to food:

1) CLEAN. Gives me the willies every time I see it. Did we miss, like, the entire New Testament? “Clean” implies a moral judgment, and that sort of talk is completely off-limits for Christians. Jesus declared all foods clean, and we’ve got no business saying otherwise. Exceptions: If you drop raw chicken on the kitchen floor you haven’t mopped in a month or your ice cream scoop falls off the cone onto a New York sidewalk, you’re allowed to call that unclean.

2) HEALTHY. According to…what? whom? In regard to dietary choices, “healthy” isn’t a monolithic thing. Medical professionals and nutritionists might prescribe a dozen different diets to a dozen different people. All sorts and conditions of people have all sorts of nutritional needs, so “healthy” is a useless word without any context or qualifications. Exceptions: If a belaced old lady serves you elderberry wine or a wild-eyed cult leader hands you a cup of Kool-Aid, you are universally allowed to suspect that these offerings are unhealthy.

UPDATE! My friend Amy reminded me of another one:

3) REAL. As Amy put it, “I think it’s very condescending to imply that if it’s not gmo-free and organic then it’s not actually food.” Exceptions: Wax fruit and accessories in your kid’s play kitchen are fake food.


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