Opinion: The Whole Food Contradiction

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Katherine Helps has a tongue-in-cheek rant…

An Open Letter to Self-Satisfied Yogis Everywhere, 

Dear Enlightened One,

I see you.

In that blouse that you bought from Free People at an exorbitant price regardless of the fact it was made for two dollars at a factory in Bangladesh. Although ethics aside, the paisley print does have hints of earth tones and it matches perfectly with your fringed boots. I would go as far to say you are looking fairly groovy. Even if you did soak your new shirt overnight in chai tea to garner that well-worn op shop authenticity.

I saw you yesterday when I was rushing to what you call my soulless nine-to-five as a contributing member of our overbearing, democratic society. You sped past on your multicoloured fixed gear bike. The reworked hessian sack masquerading as a bag you had slung over your shoulder was full to the brim with essential leafy greens and carbon neutral mung bean pasta. I can only assume that you had been to the midweek farmers market, a secret macro food haven accessible only for wealthy soccer mums and out of work actors.

I hate to be the one to tell you this but the regular grocer at said market has no idea what you are talking about in your broken Vietnamese. While I know your three-week Contiki trip backpacking around Vietnam left you with a deep understanding of eastern culture, he is an Australian-born university student of Chinese descent. He is just too polite to tell you so.

I actually see you at least three times a day.

I do follow you on Instagram. So I am fully aware that regular trips to the market are necessary for your daily green smoothie. In fact, you make sure that I am acutely aware every aspect of your grain-free whole food diet.

However, it seems to be directly juxtaposed to your job working at a tequila bar. Where you directly contribute to both our binge-drinking culture and the sexualisation of young women, by yelling “free shots for bras” all while dressed in you favourite neon crop top and daisy dukes.

But that’s fine because I have seen you working during the hours of 11am to 1pm, two days a week for your all-consuming role of giving back to the universe. You’re busy writing for your blog. It’s a dissertation on the life-changing impact of super foods and how they can be made into soap. Thereby ensuring the antioxidants can be more quickly absorbed through the skin. This makes you totes karma neutral.

And no, your beige organic 1000 thread cotton sheets did not escape my attention. I know these are a misguided and insincere attempt at aligning yourself with the newly created ideal Normcore. You read about it on a trend report online somewhere and while your not exactly sure what it entails; you do know that, since mass indie happened, being different is so 2012. Plus, you wanted to add some natural cues to your sleeping/meditation space aesthetic, #zen.

Your Facebook feed just told me that while the serious consultation with your tarot cards didn’t really tell you anything new, it did bring up some deep-seated issues about the use of unfiltered water at the obscure pigeon shelter where you intern once a week. Luckily, after 22 minutes of despair, you found a quote by Osho that told you life is a river. It’s ever-flowing and ever-moving, meaning that essentially we know nothing of our own existence and hence everything is justifiable. So you shared it. It got 23 likes and now you feel much better.

And I see you, reading this in that dimly lit café, the one with exposed brick and mismatched furniture. You’re on your MacBook pro using the free Wi-Fi, with your T.S. Elliot book artfully laid out along with your Rumi so that everyone knows that you are multilayered; interested in literature, a deep thinker and constructive.

It’s about this point that a light goes off. Yes I’m talking about you.

I see you storm out, light up a rolled cigarette and proclaim loudly to the young mother who is quietly reading the paper about the evils of the internet, how social media is just another forum for us to spread negativity and does she know the level of genetic modification used in chicken farming these days?

Yes, you tell her about all of it, all while blowing secondhand smoke over her newborn.

And I should spend more time living in the present?

Good one mate.

Katherine Helps


Words and opinions by Katherine Helps.