Food Guilt In The Formative Years

daniel adler
Debra knows about a different kind of food guilt.

I used to feel guilty for inanimate objects when I was little. Like if there was a movie I chose over another movie, I’d feel bad for the movie I didn’t choose, sometimes so much that I would choose the neglected one to watch first because I knew I’d get to the good one later. And now I find myself eating two day old sockeye salmon in rice with eggplant when there’s perfectly delicious spaghetti bolognese (my favorite) ready to be heated. My pity for the originally beautiful and now all too bony salmon has changed the pleasure of my evening into temporary pity and disdain for all salmon in general.

Oh but I can make a good Caesar salad and that’s what I’m eating now. I no longer put up with these childish inconsistencies! I won’t have it. I’m an adult. If I don’t want to eat something I’ll throw it in the trash myself. See what growing up poor can do to you? Those first three or four years leave marks on you you don’t even realize exist! What happened in those oh-so-formative years that bore a mark on you? Betcha it makes Daniel Adler’s food guilt look like child’s play.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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