Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Thinking About So-Called “Thoughtful Portions ™”

We’ve been in quarantine for almost a month now. Julianne is in a high-risk group because of her asthma and we are both concerned that our care would be compromised by fatphobia if we were to get sick, so we’ve tried to minimize even the number of interactions we have with people bringing things to the house. Thus, we’ve been cooking every meal. We bought some freezer meals to have quick and easy options.  As I was turning the box around looking for instructions I found this.

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A picture of directions from a box of food. It says “THOUGHTFUL PORTION ™ 1 Portion = 1/7 tray
First of all, a portion is 1/7 of the tray? This is a rectangular casserole – does this thing come with a compass and a protractor? I imagine they are manipulating this to try to get the nutrition information to read a certain way, but it’s clearly ridiculous. That they trademarked “thoughtful portion” is even more ridiculous.

But that’s ok because, in truth, the entire premise is bonkers. Eating the amount of food prescribed by the box regardless of any of the many, many factors that might contribute to the amount of food that you want/need is the OPPOSITE of thoughtful. This is a thoughtless portion.

This is what diet culture does. It teaches us that we can’t trust our hunger and fullness queues – that the frozen food box knows more than our bodies do about what and how much we should eat. We are taught that food should be a tool we use to manipulate our body size (as if that’s actually possible,) and that none of the many processes that our body has to communicate its needs are valuable, helpful, or reliable. This is bullshit. Just eat the damn casserole. Or don’t. Your call.

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