10: Mixed Eating Household with Molly Patrick & Luanne Teoh
This episode is a tad sweary.
In this episode I have a candid chat with Luanne, co-founder of Clean Food Dirty Girl, about how we easily manage our mixed eating household. Luanne was born and raised in Malaysia and has been an omnivore her whole life. I was born in New Mexico and raised vegetarian. I went plant based in 2009. I’ve never eaten meat. Luanne eats meat. How have we made it work for the past 13 years without ever arguing about food?? You will find out in this episode of the Clean Food Dirty Girl podcast!
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I actually love the idea of your concept about what your partner eats and what you eat really has no effect on either one of you. Like when Luanne says that what you eat is really none of her business! Nice! However, this is not the typical way of eating in the U.S. Maybe and hopefully it is changing, but not for most. Old concept: husband, wife children, Wife cooks, cleans cares for the kids, etc. Awful? Yes. Is it changing? Yes. I think a lot of women still think it is their duty to cook for their husbands. I don’t think I have ever seen “to each his own” when it comes to dinnertime. (Actually, I have with my brother and his wife.) I really hate that so many women still feel obliged. If the guy eats meat, she cooks two meals, one meal to please him and then, if she has enough energy, one for herself. Obliged! This is in general with a husband-and-wife partnership. Woman with woman… Yes, what a wonderful concept as well as the beginning of change in a woman’s mindset.
My point? I’m sorry, but I think you missed the problem in many American homes. I hope I am wrong!
Yes, the traditional role of women in many cultures has certainly been defined in the terms you mention, that of cook and caretaker. That is an idea, an attitude, which is just that, an “idea”, an “attitude”. How do we change this? We change the way we, as individuals, think, speak and act. Regardless of the configuration of our relationship, woman and woman, man and man or woman and man, each of us has the choice of how we define ourselves, the roles we play and the actions we take. You mention that you hate the idea, and “idea” is certainly a good word choice here, that many women feel obligated to “please her man.” How do we change that? We can choose to be the change we want to see.
Preparing a meal for ourselves and those we care for is an incredible gift of generosity. It requires thought, planning and time to prepare. There is nothing that requires a woman or man to plan and prepare the meals they choose to serve based on obligation or “to please”, unless of course you are reading from some early 20th century cookbook or Woman’s Guide to a Successful Marriage. Choosing to prepare a healthy, nutrient dense, delicious Whole Food Plant Based meal is a gift that is brought to the table. If those at the table want to give it a try, wonderful! If not, perhaps they can make themselves a sandwich, or prepare something else for themselves. It is certainly not the responsibility of person who prepares this gift to provide an alternative gift.
At the end of your comment you say that Molly’s and Luanne’s conversation “missed the problem in many American homes.” I don’t agree. You suggest that it is because they are in a same gender relationship that makes it possible for them to have the freedom to change the ways they define their roles and their ability to allow each other the freedom of food choices. We are free to choose the roles we play and the actions we take regardless of our preferred gender identification and choice of life partner. The responsibility of how each of us defines ourselves and the choices we make, is up to each individual. We can choose to act out of obligation or some archaic role model paradigm, or we can choose to think kindly towards ourselves, speak our truth, and act in ways that support our health and well being, as well as the health and well being of others. Sometimes it requires stepping out of what we may have seen modeled as children, or what societal values and mores dictated in past generations.
All best wishes,
Thank you for your comment. While Molly and I may not be in a man-woman relationship, we still consider ourselves part of an American home. While I know you may not intend it that way, saying that we are an exception because we are both women trivializes our relationship and separates us as people. At the core of it, we are all just people.
We all get to choose what we do and do not do to live our truths. If I was a man, I can still guarantee you 100% that Molly would never cook meat for me just because I eat it. That’s because she will not be living her truth and highest self. Besides, she has never cooked meat and I probably won’t trust her cooking it anyway 🙂
Jokes aside, Pamela who commented above is Molly’s mom (who is plant based) and she has never cooked meat for her husband (Molly’s dad) even though he eats it. And they’s been together for almost 50 years. Perhaps this could be a catalyst for change. If you don’t wanna do something, set your boundary and let it be. If people have a problem with your boundaries, that’s their problem. Not yours.