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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, 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.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink