Another Post about Non-Food

30 May

Not Food!


I need to follow up on my post about Food vs. Non-Food since The Chef has made it even more difficult for me to tell the difference. She says they sometimes sell Non-Food at the Supermarket!

As an example, the picture at right shows a colleague (from Food in the Kitchen) showing me the ingredient list for something that I imagine are called Baby Meat Sticks (I can't read, so this might not be the exact name.)

The Chef feels strongly that these fall into the Non-Food category. But they are in a jar, just like some food I do eat. This is really quite confusing.


Dear Readers, how do you decide if something is food?


Food is in the eye of the beholder

Baby's definition of food: It goes in the mouth, tastes ok, and I can swallow it.

Parent's definition of food: Must be able to point to a picture of a living object (plant, animal) and say "that's what this is made of". Pointing at chemistry sets does not count.

Defining food

Dear T.D.

A guideline I follow is that if I need to read about something in order to know what it is, it is likely to not be food. For example, an eggplant is fairly self-explanatory, but meat sticks are not. Everyone knows sticks are made of wood. They are unlikely to be food.

I find this approach has caused chainges in my kitchen. Cardboard containers have become rare, replaced by things sitting on plates or in bowls. This makes them easier to access and harder to forget are available to me for eating. Also reading is not required, should that be helpful in your particular case.

In some circumstances I do use reading as a tool. Sugar Smacks, for example, are exactly that.

I hope this helps.