Not the food police: 5 misconceptions & the truth about nutrition students
I imagine a life where I can go to a restaurant and order dessert without judgemental looks and questions like, "aren't you studying nutrition?" Sometimes, that's the most dreadful question. We have to justify eating what we eat and feel bad about it. But we shouldn't! I've address some misconceptions below and explain why we arne't the food police.
"Are you really supposed to be eating that?" They ask as they stare at my slice of strawberry cheesecake.
If they're not pointing out my food choices, they're pointing out their own :
"I don't eat like this all of the time, I promise!" As they take a bite of their greasy slice of pizza.
5 Misconceptions you may have about nutrition majors:
1. We follow fad diets
We don't. You see, we love food and nutrition because food is something we can find joy out of no matter where we are or what we’re doing. Nutrition is a science, so yes, we study fad diets, but we study how they don't work. We don't follow them. The key to a healthy lifestyle is not a fad diet - it’s eating food in moderation and with balance. Remember, the next time you want to follow a fad diet, ask the nutrition experts - we'll explain the science behind it.
2. We do not eat cookies, chocolate, or any other sweets
We do. Nutrition students can eat junk food too, ok? Let me guess, you've just met a nutrition student and you soon see them indulging in some yummy birthday cake and you ask, "why aren't you practicing what you preach?" Well, the truth is, as nutrition students, we don't preach exclusion of foods! I enjoy eating well and sometimes I also enjoy eating sweets and comfort foods. Don’t get me wrong, some nutrition students may not even like cookies or chocolate, but those who do (me) do not restrict ourselves from that perfect piece of chocolate melting in our mouths with a nice cup of tea (again, me). So, the next time you go out for dinner with your nutrition student friend, (who only drinks kale smoothies right?), let them order what they want.
3. We are the food police
We aren't. If non-nutrition majors eat a doughnut in front of us and soon find out we’re a nutrition major, it is suddenly the end of the world – end of their world. Because apparently, we are the food police and we judge every bite you take. You see, the truth is, we're not really concerned about what you're eating. I mean, unless you ask us specific questions, of course we want to help! Or if you're eating a delicious pasta dish and we need the recipe. Whenever you eat around a nutrition student, don't worry, we're not judging you or your food - we're just staring at your food because it's the love of our life, basically.
4. We eat to impress
We don't. I think I can speak on behalf of all the nutrition majors in the world when I say, we eat healthy because we enjoy our food and we like to make our tummy’s and heart’s happy - not because we think we 'have' to, or because we want to 'show off' the fact that we're nutrition majors. Classic example: we don’t order a salad because we’re nutrition students, we order a salad because we like eating salads. We talk about food at school, during group projects, on social media, and any other time in our lives that we’re together. We ask each other questions like ‘what kind of hummus is that?’, ‘omg, is that bread from the local farmers market?’, “have you tried the local yellow tomatoes before? they’re amazing!”
Remember, the main difference between us nutrition majors and non-nutrition majors, is that we just may talk about food (a lot) more than you do. I'll end off on ruining the famous phrase - the salad life didn't choose us, we chose the salad life. (Sorry, not sorry.)
5. Our major is so easy
It's not. It is true when we say that everyone has some knowledge about food, because everyone eats food and it is an important part of life. If you didn't know, food is a science and the last time I checked science isn't that easy. I mean, it's fun to have a cooking lab, to write a 10 page lab report on the attributes of an unsalted cracker, but the truth is, it isn't easy. Try scheduling 5 term group projects with 9 different people all semester long and then digging through a case study where an individual has 10 conditions we need to figure out. Remember, the next time you meet a nutrition major, we're studying much more than the food on your plate; we're studying how that food works in your body, what happens to that food in the case of diseases, injuries, and how we can help treat those conditions with food.
All sarcasm asside, we don't mind the remarks here and there. Now that I think of it, it gives us something to talk about - something that we love talking about the most - food.
Until the next blog,
P.S: Sending a virtual high-five to all the nutrition majors out there who still have to explain themselves whenever you say, "I'm studying dietetics."