When Food Comes Between Us

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I’m a vegetarian, but I kiss meat-eating men pretty regularly. I’m not afraid of cooking a chicken (or a brisket, for that matter) and I won’t get grossed out or condemnatory if the conversation turns to the juiciest hamburgers in the world. I do what I do and beyond that I’m not imposing my food choices on anyone else.
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But even when that’s the case, there are so many opportunities for food to come between an otherwise happy couple. Maybe one partner only eats at kosher restaurants, and another eats dairy out. Maybe the mister requires halav yisrael dairy products, but the lady is happy with a regular hashgakhah. Maybe he loves shrimp, and she avoids all biblically forbidden foods. It gets complicated!

There are other options, of course. You can cook together, though that requires that you’ll eat in each other’s kitchens and can settle on a common meal. You can try to find a common cuisine you like and head to an appropriate restaurant (sometimes and in some places this is harder to do than others). Or you can suck it up and sometimes eat something you don’t like or find to be problematic.

How come people never really talk about this problem in the Jewish community? It’s one step down from intermarriage, of course, but it’s not nothing.

Posted on November 5, 2009

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