1.26.2011

i ♥ food

i was talking to a friend about the recent article about mormon mommy bloggers, surely you've all seen it? maybe you haven't seen natalie's response on blogher -- its even better. this friend is not LDS or Mormon (synonyms for the same religion, of which i am.) 
and we've been friends for awhile, but she still gets confused about some of the many many quirks that come with being Mormon. 
so when she asked me why Mormons are so food-centric, i laughed. 
isn't that so spot on? i do love food!

so here's what we talked about, shared in post form, because after reading a handful of the comments from the mmb article, i am still shocked at how truly misinformed most people are about this religion of mine. 
so here's my stab at informing. not recruiting, not testifying, just 
exploring a possibility.

why Mormons are food-centric:

a. the word of wisdom: a guideline, commandment, and strong suggestion that has been in place since the 1850s and cautions against habit-forming substances like alcohol, drugs, and even coffee. because we believe that the word of wisdom is inspired and truly the best way to live your life, i don't take in any habit-forming food or drink.

if you read that list and let out & audible "ughhh" you already see that this leaves very little room for the guilty pleasure or vice.
what do we do to let loose on the weekends? 
how do we wake up in the morning? 

personally, i don't feel like it is restricting, i think it keeps me free-er in a sense that i don't have to deal with all of the unappealing side-effects. but, yes, you can see why Mormons find other ways to let it all hang out -- usually in the form of a multiple course meal.
also, it *is* true that some Mormon families are large, it is not uncommon to see 6+ kids in a family in Utah. that is one with husband and one wife, mind you. polygamy is dead, just like 2Pac, Biggie Smalls, and mom jeans, and has been since 1890. large families mean lots of birthdays, lots of get togethers, & lots of food. always. we know how to eat.

b. this lead us to the 2nd part of the conversation, if being Mormon makes you so happy, why does Utah (with Maine and Oregon in the running) have the highest rate of prescribed anti-depressants? this is a true stat, sadly. but, let's go back to the word of wisdom & the unavoidable fact that life sucks sometimes.

i have plenty family and friends (Mormon or otherwise) who turn to alcohol, drugs, or pills as a way to cope with the stresses of life. i don't judge, i know life is hard, and sometimes it's too hard and we just want problems to go away. i totally get that. so when you live the majority of your life without these outside substances as an option, those problems don't just go away on their own. they compile, maybe insurmountably so, until something has to give.
many turn to food, there are plenty of foods that release endorphins naturally.
but, as anyone with a chemical imbalance knows, food won't always fix it.
i think is a huge factor in why so many people need anti-depressants in the church -- or elsewhere for that matter. the temporary fixes aren't cutting it anymore, and a long-term solution is needed.
 
these are all my opinions, and i know there's more to it than this, 
but i took a stab at it & it seemed to make sense to the both of us. 
for those of you who made it through this most random of posts,
here is a reward, or further punishment, depending on how you look at it....
two outfits taken worn for... you guessed it...dinners out!
1. jacket  H&M gingham button down OLD NAVY nylon leggings AMERICAN APPAREL fringe boots MINNETONKA
2. scarf VINTAGE tee OLD NAVY jacket F21 skinnies F21 booties PAYLESS

19 comments:

Kellee Marie Cook said...

great post! such a great way to explain some of our "foodie ways"

Megano said...

Well said! Simple and truthful.

kellymccaleb said...

i really like this post, i think you nailed it on all points. and you are right- less self medicating would equal more doctor medicating.

Kaitlyn said...

Great post Emily, and it's written so well! I loved reading this!

iamahoneybee.com said...

Emily, this is a great response post.

I read your blog because you have fun, interesting things to share. NOT because you are Mormon. I think the facination of the unknown gets to people and they crave more information, which is why they read blogs by Mormon moms. However, when is comes down to it the collective 'we' are not all that different. I was batized Lutheran (Lutheran mother, Catholic father) but I am Agnostic now. That does not mean I don't respect what religion does for some people. It offers support, community, love, etc. While I am Agnostic, I am (prob not right word) facinated with Mormonism, and other relgions. I read a lot of books on it and have taken college classes on it.

One thing I have learned in all my explorations related to religion is that the practice of abstaining from alchol (Teetotalism) is nothing new. It is practiced by relgions all over the world. So I don't understand why people make such a big deal about it for Mormons. But again they are prob not well enough educated on other relgions (let alone their own)

okay done...

Nicole Howell said...

Hi Emily, I appreciate your response and I wanted to let you know that through reading your blog you have helped me to see another side of mormonism. I am from Las Vegas, where it felt like everyone was LDS and while I was a really good kid I was often shunned by the exclusive culture that did not welcome my family. To make matters worse most of my Mom's family are those 11 kid families living in the Utah Valley area. I always saw being Mormon as restrictive and one sided. However, through reading your blog and others I have seen some of the evolution of the faith and how there is a new generation of saints who are more open yet still observant. I think what we need to make room for in the world is to allow mormonism to change and morph and not hold on to our 1890's picture of it. I will also say I hope the church does open it's hearts and doors to those who do not always fit the faith to a tee i.e. LGBT folks. Anyway, this long rant is to let you know that you are helping others to see LDS people in a different/good way just by being you. Thank you for sharing your life

The Hokanson Family said...

Hey Emily! I'm so glad I found your blog! Wow! You can really write! And what a great post this was. I feel the same way about everything you wrote about. Consider me a new follower of your blog. It was fun to see you at Charity's wedding things. You've turned into such a beautiful woman.

The Hokanson Family said...

oh! This is Charity's friend, Holly, btw. :)

| abigail y anthony | said...

You know, I went through a period of my life when I took depression meds. I think though, that we don't have to use food, alcohol, drugs or anything outside to find solutions to problems--but that the longest-lasting comfort can come by connecting to your Source, God, or whoever that may be for you.

When it comes to food, who doesn't love it? :)

Great post, love your blog!

cbass said...

If eating is cool, consider me Kilometers Davis.

Nicole Christensen said...

This is great, Em, i think you nailed it. We DO love food, in fact, lets go to cheesecake factory, say, at 6:30. See you then!

allegra said...

what an interesting article you linked to... loved it. very entertaining. i hadn't read it before. your take on the utah depression thing is exactly how i've always felt about the issue too. right on.

Hailey said...

This post was so great it brought me out of lurking! Love your blog :)
So, here's my two cents on Utah + anti depressants, because I'm convinced that the issue runs deeper than 'Utah is depressed and therefore Mormonism surely equals misery'. Firstly, Utah has loooooong gloomy winters. It should come as no surprise that Oregon ranked high and California ranked far lower. I believe this is a contributing factor, if minor. Mormons set the bar high and sometimes the constant quest for perfection and bettering oneself translates to pressure and anxiety - our consciences are LOUD. I imagine there are places across the country where anti-depressants are badly needed, but because the US doesn't have universal healthcare, those in low socio-economic areas have far easier access to cheap alcohol than doctors offices and prescription meds. Utah can afford meds, and furthermore, LDS Family Services makes help easily accessible within the church - it's as easy as visiting your Bishop and being recommended to a counsellor. It's wonderful that help is so readily available within the church, but maybe it's problematic that Help has a prescription pad?
Personally, I've never been presribed anti-depressants, though I have gone through depressed periods of my life, because though the gospel is a message of joy and hope, I'm not immune to the pitfalls of life. At times like these, sure, our culture of perfection gets me down, and I feel somehow ashamed by the problem that is weighing me down at the time... but I wouldn't swap the hard times and the pressure I sometimes feel for the peaceful and happy periods that constitute the majority of my life, and though stretching ourselves to self-betterment can be hard.tough.work, we turn around and see how far we've come and who would swap that for anything?

Andrea said...

Love the post Emily. Very well said.

Cara Grenny said...

Love this post. Love your eating out-outfits! Love your blog!

Gaby said...

Great post! I thought that Salon article was really interesting because I'm also non-mormon, but find myself drawn to a lot of blogs written by mormons. Anyway, I like your response here and I'm glad I found your blog :)

Lindsay said...

You are an amazing writer!

Kelsey and Riley said...

so so so wonderfully said. thanks for this post, really. i couldn't believe some of the comments on that article.
your blog is fabulous and so are you!

{lindy baker cakes} said...

Wow. Beautifully written Em.

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