Something very disheartening has happened in the blog world in the 5 years since I started, and it has escalated over the past 2 years: intolerant trolls. I suppose some of the attention has to do with my blog links being spread to a wider audience due to Pinterest, Food Gawker and Tastespotting. Folks visiting here may not understand what this blog is about, and are disappointed when I don’t live up to their expectations based on the type of site, Pinterest board or Google search that brings them my way.
This part is easy to fix: this blog is about safe food for children with life-threatening dairy, egg and nut allergies. This is not a natural food blog, it’s not an organic blog, it’s not a paleo blog. It’s not intended for vegetarians, vegans, paleos, frutarians, locavores, raw foodists or other people electing to eat a limited diet. For those choosing these restricted diet lifestyles, awesome. Some of my recipes may accidentally fit these food choices, but is not the heart and soul of why this blog exists. I’m very happy to share creative recipes that meet our common goals despite our diverse motivators.
But it still doesn’t explain the second part…the rude comments and attempts to bully me into making “politically correct” foods for my family. That behavior is part of something larger, and less easy to fix. There certainly is an uncomfortable movement afoot to dictate the minutiae of our lives from the types of lightbulbs we may buy to the proper packed lunch for our children. Alongside this effort to dictate, comes the movement to silence and shame those who don’t toe the line. Well, I happen to be a girl who loves liberty, is nearly impossible to shame and certainly won’t back down from feeding my kids as I see fit.
Somehow, we’ve lost the basic American idea of doing your own thing and letting others do the same. What happened to Thomas Jefferson? If it “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”…what does it matter to me? Live and let live, folks. Ease up on the nanny state. Just as I would never dream of going to vegan blog, insulting the writer & demanding a steak recipe… please don’t come to my blog and get worked up about marshmallows or honey in my homemade ice cream recipes. To paraphrase a pro-choice bumper sticker, “Against processed foods? Don’t eat them”. But I won’t apologize for using Bisquick, Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, Rich’s Whip, or Jello. Life is about balance, and I’m very comfortable in the balance I’ve found between homemade bread and the occasional Pillsbury Crescent Roll. Food is meant to be enjoyed and fun.
That being said, I still don’t know how to deal with those leaving rude comments. Some, I’ve deleted. They’re just too horrible to let stand. Some commenters, like “Save the Children Sheila“…I’ve taken to the mat and they eventually back down. The most recent comment by “Jess B” is quite amazing in her ability to insult my recipe, my choice in how to feed my children, the competence of our diagnosing allergist and my chosen career…all in one comment prefaced by “God Bless!”. For now, I’ll leave the more ridiculous ones (like Jess B) for my friends and family to toy with. The really bad ones, I’ll just delete. In the meantime, hopefully Americans will pull themselves out of this phase, and remember how to be decent and tolerant of individual liberty once again.