When Real Food is Deemed Offensive and Disturbing, not Processed Food

Note: This article is not one of my usual Science Made Simple posts, but a comment about something that occurred on social media yesterday.

Yesterday, I posted a photo on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter of some fresh chicken that I had bought and that I had cut up into legs and breasts. Real food is perfectly normal for a Dietitian to write about, right?

The photo I posted is above.

The caption under the photo indicated that this shouldn’t look foreign and that real chicken comes with a head, feet and bones (in contrast to chicken we buy in a supermarket that usually comes boneless or pre-cut, in Styrofoam trays, and covered in plastic wrap).

Presumably, someone found this  photo of chicken before and after cutting as being offensive and reported it to Instagram.  I was not notified that the photo had been censored, and it looks the same from my end, but several people that follow me told me that my photo was deemed to contain “sensitive content”.

To anyone viewing the post now, it now looks like this:

This photo contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.

A physician posted the following comment about the censoring;

I cannot believe a photo of food is blurred as “sensitive content”. It is absolutely mind boggling. But it’s totally fine to be constantly inundated with ads for crap that make us feel bad about ourselves, making us buy junk we don’t need.

This physician is right! There’s a huge difference between real food and the processed food-like substances (“crap”) that we are encouraged to buy and eat. You can read more about telling the difference between these in this previous article.

The two photos of chicken that I posted before and after being cut up has been blurred on Instagram because “some might find offensive or disturbing“.

Do you know what I consider offensive and disturbing?

I find people having to have toes amputated because of uncontrolled diabetes offensive.

I find obese people trying desperately to lose weight, yet finding themselves unable to curb an insatiable craving for processed food that was deliberately created by its producers, disturbing.

I find the fact that many young children in Canada and the US (and likely in many other countries) think of chicken as something that comes boneless, deep fried in batter and packaged in small individual packages with various flavours of sweetened sauce to dip it in, disturbing.

I find pea protein isolate, industrial seed oil, methyl cellulose and a host of other processed ingredients masquerading in the meat counter, offensive.  But please don’t misunderstand…

I have absolutely no problem with vegetarians and vegans having a wide variety of plant-based food available to eat as alternatives to animal-based foods, but it should not be marketed to consumers as “meat”, but ‘better’.

It may be “better” or “ultra” or “beyond” for those who choose a plant-based lifestyle, but an ultra-processed mixture of pea protein isolate, canola oil, refined coconut oil, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, maltodextrin, yeast extract, sunflower oil, vegetable glycerin, dried yeast, gum arabic along with seasoning and flavourings is not ‘better’ or preferable to whole, real food with a single ingredient, “beef”.

These are choices…

…and people have the right to choose what they want to eat, without condemnation and judgement.

There is no one-sized-fits-all-diet and individuals who choose to eat meat, fish or poultry should not be vilified or censored for doing so.

To your good health,

Joy

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