There's a lot of chat around plant-based and meat-free and veganism these days ... whether it's a fad or a long-term thing, who's embracing it, who's not, what it means for New Zealanders, for farmers, and so on.

We seem to be dedicating a lot of column inches to how we eat, what we eat, why we eat, what we shouldn't eat.

And while I'm a big fan of food fads and trying new things and evolving with food-based patterns, I do wonder if we all just need to ... in the words of Taylor Swift ... calm down.


Does it really matter if you're doing meat-free Mondays and I'm not?

Does it matter if you're vegan and I'm not?

Does it matter if you're dairy- and gluten-free and I'm not?

To me it feels like the crossfit trend: those that are doing it have to talk about it a lot.
And they can get a wee bit judgy if you're not doing it too.

The famous meme, "if you're a vegan and you don't tell anyone, are you still a vegan ..." rings true.

Kate Hawkesby: Why are we so quick to blame and shame other parents?
Kate Hawkesby: 'I was right not to trust Meghan Markle'
Kate Hawkesby: I stand by my comments on Wilson Parking and elitist Concert FM listeners
Kate Hawkesby: Is Concert FM really the biggest issue right now for Jacinda Ardern?

I get the "share the philosophy" thing. I get the health benefits you're enjoying and want to shout from the rooftops ... but an all kale and spinach diet may just not be for everyone.

Shopping organic and free range at farmers markets may not be an option for everyone.


And it doesn't mean those people aren't interested in saving the planet or care about the environment. It just means we're all different and we're allowed to do our own thing.

Not everything has to be a "movement".

For the record, I am majority plant-based by choice, but I do eat meat - just not that often by preference.

I learned early on that not many people want to hear about what you're eating.

I recall trying to tell my parents one day about the merits of eating raw and plant-based and their eyes glazed over and my dad interrupted me and said, "Oh nooooooo, not a lettuce leaf lecture. No, boring, we get it, you like salad, yawn."

He's right, of course. Inflicting your weird food preferences on others should be reserved for the handful of people who're actually interested and outright ask you what you eat. Which is not many.

But I raise this because I see the huge pressure and confusion around food. Kids don't know what to eat anymore, there's a lot of second guessing. Is this good for me? Is it bad?

I can't help thinking our grandmothers were probably onto something when they said "everything in moderation".