Slate Article on Culinary Racism

I hadn’t heard anything about flaps about Obama chicken.  But Slate has and they have an article over at their site about why it is a “no no” in this country to talk about blacks and fried chicken in the same sentence.  Of course that is a racist thing to say to start out a conversation about racism in America but I like Slate for being the kind of place that does just that!  Rather than shy away from some topics they wade right into the middle.

If you want to read about the chicken debacle, then head over to http://www.slate.com, but if you want to read something that made me think twice about how our food choices make others feel a certain way about us then read on here:

Experiments suggest that we react very differently to other people on the basis of the type and amount of food that they consume. In one study, a few hundred undergrads were told of a fictional character named “Pat.” In some cases, she was described as eating “oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts on top for breakfast;” in others, the researchers said she eats “pie for breakfast.” Then the students were asked to describe Pat’s character. The pie-eating version of Pat was deemed more likely to be aggressive, lazy, selfish, and immoral than the oatmeal-eating version. In another experiment, participants who were shown images or video clips of someone eating fast food tended to judge that person as being less physically attractive, less intelligent, less moral, and less conscientious than participants who saw the very same individual eating healthier food. There are some perks to eating poorly, though. Studies also show that those who consume high-fat diets are perceived by onlookers as being significantly more fun-loving, happy, and sociable than their more high-strung, healthy-eating peers. That may be why Bill Clinton’s notorious McDonald’s diet helped him to get elected in two presidential campaigns, even as it threatened his health.

Isn’t that interesting?!  What is crazy is I can imagine my own ‘Pat’ choosing two different meals and it’s absolutely true that my ‘healthy Pat’ is more productive and more reliable than my ‘casual food  Pat’ and I’m aware that I’m making this character up. I know that Pat is a name for a sexless being.  I am aware that my character isn’t going to have an entirely different lifestyle on the day they eat oatmeal as opposed to the day they eat Fruit Loops!  And yet, I can’t separate healthy eating choices from healthy and successful lifestyle choices even though I have no proof that the two are in any way related!

Heh,  I’m giggling because I just made my own mental version of  Pat  eat dirt!  And Pat likes it!




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