The XX Factor

No Food Choice Goes Without Judgment

This Salon headline is meant to irk: ” Hipsters on food stamps .” The blog post is about art-school grads and part-time bloggers who spend government money on Japanese eggplant and organic asparagus. The post acknowledges that the “overwhelming majority” of Americans on food stamps are the poor and working class, but goes on to cover the microtrend anyway.

I’m not sure that “hipster” food stamp recipients are anything but a fake trend, but it does appear that no article about food purchasing or ingesting can be written without irate and judgemental comments. The twenty- and thirtysomethings in the article are predictably called lazy and overly indulged, for example: “Of course people are going to be pissed that they’re busting their asses every day in real jobs so that some douchebag can satisfy his ‘flexitarian’ gourmet diet.” But even if these hipsters were using their own money to buy their organic food they’d be slammed. Or if they were buying the stereotypical foods purchased with food stamps-which is to say, heavily processed-they’d be criticized for contributing to the so-called “obesity crisis.” Eating is now a major moral issue in America, and whatever choice you make is wrong.