What kind of eater are you?
givingtable in Conscious Eating, Food System, food styles, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian

A carrot isn’t just a carrot anymore. Today, the question of what to eat is loaded with implications about the life you live, your views on health, animal rights, farming, and the food future you envision for yourself and your family.  This means that the side dish you may have roasted for last night’s dinner came sprinkled with salt, pepper and politics.

What is the true origin of your carrots? Are they organic or pesticide-coated? Local or trucked from across country? Part of a seasonal CSA box or purchased on sale from your neighborhood grocery store?

It’s good to ask these questions and to know more about our food system, but as Michael Pollan points out in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, it can easily produce a fair amount of stress.  

“As a culture we seem to have arrived at a place where whatever native wisdom about eating has been replaced by confusion and anxiety. Somehow this most elemental of activities—figuring out what to eat—has come to require a remarkable amount of expert help.”

Of all the questions surrounding the food industry, one of the most basic we each must ask ourselves is What exactly should we be eating? The resources below are designed to give you the tools to learn more about the three most popular ways to eat, but the questions don't end here.

As a vegetarian, will you eat fish? If so, all fish, or only sustainable varieties? For omnivores, there are questions surrounding how often you will eat meat, which farms your meat will be sourced from, and if you’ll buy corn fed or grass fed beef. For vegans, will you ease in, gradually giving up dairy, or commit entirely by not only modifying your food habits but also the clothing and skin care products you use?

Coming to terms with our food values will take time, but simply by being here you’re on the right track. Your decision is a personal one, and will affect your giving later on, as well as the way you interact with the food community. Take a look at the resources below and begin considering where you fit on the food spectrum.


Noun: An animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin.


Noun: A person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons.


Noun: A person who does not eat or use animal products including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey. In addition to health, one of the most common reasons people choose a vegan diet is because of concerns over animal cruelty.

Article originally appeared on The Giving Table (http://www.givingtable.org/).
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