Welcome To The Variety Show

Variety-in-foods-saves-the-long-lifeI knew Michelle’s blog was going to spark new thoughts and connections about food. Her second post, I eat almost the exact same thing every single day of the year, shares a little more about her personal journey and habits. She also shared about her lack of variety in her diet. This got me thinking.

Variety in the foods we eat is an interesting topic to unpack. For Michelle lack of variety has to do with her disorder. For others it might have to do with poverty or available resources (like a staple diet of rice and beans). The flip side is that we also have an unprecedented variety available in our First World diets. So, for some more variety is healthy, while for others they already have too much variety. This reminds of the incredible photo essay in TIME magazine called What the World Eats which is a series of pictures of families around the world and a display of the food they have in their house.

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I’ve often told my wife that if she wanted to put me on a diet and tell me what to eat, I would happily do it. I don’t like thinking so much about my food choices and the variety overwhelms me. I worry about eating the right things, but it feels out of my control.

We don’t have a food culture int he United States the way the French or Mediterraneans do where there is a limited amount of variety, but not too much and you basically get a well-rounded diet that has evolved over many years. The tyranny of choice versus the freedom of boundaries.

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