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Eating With My Non-Organic Friends

Eating With My Non-Organic Friends

As someone who is incredibly committed to organic food, one issue that I always face is going to eat with friends of mine who do not eat organic. And for the most part, none of my lifelong friends here in NYC eats organic. Whenever we make plans and the subject of having dinner together arises, […]

Personal Issues

As someone who is incredibly committed to organic food, one issue that I always face is going to eat with friends of mine who do not eat organic. And for the most part, none of my lifelong friends here in NYC eats organic.

Whenever we make plans and the subject of having dinner together arises, it always creates some tension inside of me. What am I going to eat? Why won’t they go to an organic place with me? And, why am I getting upset about this in the first place?

To say that none of them will not eat organic is not entirely true. I can think of a small number of friends who have gone with me recently to organic restaurants but this is certainly not a regular thing for them. Nor would they want it to be. They enjoy their non-organic restaurants far too much and what kind of food they eat (organic vs. non-organic) is not a real concern of theirs. Their primary criteria is that the food tastes good.

My college roommate asked me a few weeks ago, “So, Max, what do you do when you go to Italian restaurants?”

I replied to him “I don’t go to Italian restaurants.”

He was completely bewildered and shocked. To not go to Italian restaurants in New York City is almost unheard of. Yet, I don’t go. It is not the food I like.

With another friend, I gave in the last time we ate and went wherever he wanted to go, just not to be a pain in the ass. I said “next time, we’ll go organic” but I’m not sure he really wants to organic and I don’t want to push the issue too hard.

With other friends, we meet for coffee or tea instead. Or, I will simply stop by their apartments in between or after meals, so it is never an issue.

Many times I will go eat alone and will meet other like-minded people who are also there alone. Several of these people have since become my friends.

So, who usually comes with me to organic restaurants? My dates, for sure. Any woman that I am with has to share similar eating habits. Based on previous experience, I know that it simply won’t work out otherwise.

Maybe some people will see me as inflexible. But health is a value that I cannot compromise, and I don’t like being put in a position where I have to compromise my most important value.

On my bio, I say that I eat organic food whenever I can but sometimes it is not practical or possible.

So this is the struggle I face: Yes, I don’t want to be impossible or alienate people but as of late, I am having more and more trouble being accommodating.


  • Maryann says:

    Hey Max,
    Thanks for writing this article. I recently began eating organic back in February 2010. Almost 100% of what I eat at home is organic but I too find it difficult to eat with other who do not share this viewpoint. I do the same as Helena when I go out with others. I try to eat as healthy as possible but realize that I need to be flexible too. I could also never give up Italian food. I love it too much. Anyways, thanks again and good luck in your journey!


    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Maryann,

      I am glad you found it useful.

      There is no question that the social element is a factor here and cannot be escaped. However, organic continues to be my priority and I am doing my best to introduce it to my friends in a very non-threatening/non-pushy way. If it tastes good, that is what most of them seem to care about.

      Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Helena,

    Great to hear about your story. And, yes, we are not alone in this at all. Many of us who eat organic share similar challenges, and I love your approach of appreciating the abundance in your life. Fantastic!!!

    Thanks for your interest in my site.

    Live well,

  • Max Goldberg says:

    Hi Luanne,

    Thanks so much for the kind words and use my strategies. See if they work for you and let me know how they go.

    Live well,

  • Helena says:

    Great post, Max!
    I can definitely relate to this. When I first started eating organic a few years ago, I used to do a lot of cooking at home & inviting people over or cooking with a friend at my house or their house. I was really passionate about eating organic and even wanted to start a meetup. I talked to everyone in my life about my passion for organics. At the time I was dating a boy who didn’t eat organic, but his mom ate organic food and so although he didn’t change his eating habits for me, he showed his support by bringing me gifts that were organic or used natural sweeteners.

    Fast forward to now : I’m at a period in time where I always go with what feels best & I find that feels so much healthier for me. It was important to go through that phase where I ate only organic food. Now I’m actually happier in my present state where I live in an organic household where my housemates eat all organic and at home everything is organic & I work at an organic restaurant but sometimes I go out to other places or eat at someone’s house & just enjoy the diversity. Now I believe that because I eat amazingly well most of the time, my body is fine with the less than 10% of the time that I may eat in a non organic way. I have let go & realized that the Universe always brings me people who resonate with my way of life. Organic will always be a lifestyle for me, but more importantly, I opt for feeling good & listening to my body’s needs & my heart’s call. I go out to eat once or twice a week & I don’t even think about the food being organic or not. I just appreciate the abundance & diversity of the treat. My current bf doesn’t eat organic & I have never even talked to him or tried to convince him about it, but I’ve noticed that he’s buying more organic food for his house. I think leading by example & allowing others to be who they are & finding the best feeling place for you is important.

    Nuff said! Just wanted to let you know that it’s good to know I’m not alone in going through this. Thanks for sharing. For sure, it’s important to do what feels best for you & what resonates with your beliefs. And clearly, you do 🙂

  • Luanne says:

    Bravo! I’ve been alienated or criticized, by family even, for sticking to my guns. It’s hard and I’m not always successful, even w/out pressure. I wish I had your determination. Thanks for sharing. You have some great strategies!

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