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Life Lessons Part 1: Not Everyone Loves Food

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Not everyone in this world loves food—this seems like such a simple principle to learn. Still, I would say it has been one of the hardest things to truly understand through my life and career. Growing up in a big Indian family, food was always a way to show your love. In adult hood, food literally became my livelihood. Beyond being a food and nutrition expert, I am an absolute foodie! My favourite thing to do is try new restaurants and all different kinds of food. I spend much of my days planning meals, making meals, eating or thinking about when or what my next meal will be. Food has always been something that brings enjoyment in my life and is coupled with nostalgia and great memories. Up until a few years ago, I really believed the majority of people in my life felt the same way—and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I participated in discussions with individuals who spoke about food in a way that I had never thought about it before. Simply put, they said eating was more of a ‘chore’ and just something they did to sustain themselves. They did not think about food, have any emotional connection to food, or relish the experience of eating. I could hardly believe it. How? Why? What was wrong with these people? And then it sank in—not everyone loves food. In fact, food for many people is associated with struggle, pain, stress, and unhappiness. How could I have missed this? I always considered myself a culturally aware and sensitive person. I felt educated about disordered eating and food insecurity—but I failed to recognize that having a neutral perception towards food can exist, and it isn’t always an extreme situation. Just like some people don’t like watching sports, others just simply don’t like food.

Lesson learned.

I have to admit, ever since coming to this realization, I am more aware of the conversations I have about food. Even though I can’t imagine ever losing my passion towards food and nutrition (and hope I will always be able to preach about it), I now at least understand that not everyone wants to talk (or think) about it as often as I do.

In Good Health,

Raman Khatar

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