Gabrielle’s Story: Our Only Food Bias

Our Monday Suppers meeting is a little chaotic and very fun. It’s not organized around any particular diagnosis or issue, it’s just a bunch of people who want to learn to prepare healthy food and forge relationships with others who want to do the same. We invite presenters to teach us how to use equipment or prepare particular cuisines; sometimes we have guest speakers. This general meeting attracts people with a range of different food preferences and strong (not to mention incompatible) ideas about what “healthy” food is.

I don’t know how we manage, but we do. Suppers is not about any particular diet, but a basic assumption that the healthiest food is food that’s as close as possible to how it occurs in nature. Whole food. One of the tricks at our particular meeting is to find recipes that are easy to adapt for vegetarians and omnivores. It makes it easy to not be critical of each other’s dietary biases if we all have delicious food on our plates.

Here’s what we do at the Monday lunch meeting to accommodate both vegetarians and omnivores:

We always have an ample, gorgeous salad, and often a fresh salsa too. Just about everybody feels well on our slaws, fresh salsas, and chopped salads.

We usually have soup, stew, or chili that is suitable for vegetarians; then we add meat at the end.

We divvy up the price of groceries based on the menu, which is only fair because fish and meat usually increase the food costs and the vegetarians shouldn’t have to cover our costs.

We do book reports and presentations, being careful to use “I-statements” so that it’s clear we’re talking about our preferences, not imposing our biases on others.

Some of us attend other meetings where everyone comes together to learn vegetarian food preparation.

In The Suppers Programs our only food bias is that in favor of whole food, though individual meetings may form around shared dietary preferences.

Article Type: