Complaint and Response

Defense of unschoolers' knowledge of the value of choices

Sandra Dodd
March 29, 2017 on Radical Unschooling Info, on facebook :

I think advice for dinner-party etiquette would be not to discuss politics, religion or dietary beliefs, but the problem with that is that people with certain diets can only eat with those they agree with anyway. I took this from the midst of a post that shouldn't have been written or posted.

"I will never be a radical unschooler because the advice I've read re the radical unschooler approach on food is for some people dangerous, alienating and just medically incorrect"
That's fine, but the thing to do would be to take that alienation and leave the group, not to stay and complain. What has been "medically correct" about diet has changed over and over and over just within my lifetime. Every part of a hamburger has been glorified and villified in turn. Every part of a pizza has been the best and worst part, at some point in the past 50 years. Skim milk/whole milk, margarine, artificial sweeteners, eggs, iceberg lettuce, honey, cheese, water (amounts), salt, wine, bread—terror or wonder.

And "medically incorrect" is too often judged by someone who took a one-year or six-month or read-the-book-and-pass-the-test course to be certified to be a health coach or a nutritionist. And there won't be follow-up on that. When whichever of those very-particular diets is discredited or abandoned, that trainee will not be notified or called back.

When people spend money to learn something and get a piece of paper, they REALLY want it to be true and worth the time, expense and effort they put into it. It's human nature.

Reading specialists REALLY want to believe that they are crucial to children's learning to read. When unschoolers say their children learned to read without instruction, it can make normal teachers angry and defensive, but reading specialists!? Our reports are dangerous, alienating and educationally incorrect.

There is no diet, there has never been and never will be a diet that is safe and good for everyone on the planet. People have evolved in different places to eat different things. Some cultures are lactose intolerant; some aren't. In India, some castes and sects are vegetarian and have (by arranged marriages) been that way for a thousand years or more. Others eat meat and, same way, only married and reproduced with other meat-eaters.

People have made claims that one diet or another (a valley in Italy, Japanese cuisine) will bring about long life because people there lived long. They're ignoring the genetics that went with it (and those two diets I mention were very different, of course).

..."the advice I've read re the radical unschooler approach on food is for some people dangerous, alienating and just medically incorrect"
#1, read more, or don't comment

#2, by its own principles, people wouldn't eat what's a danger to them

#3, "alienating" could apply to most things, but participation in this group is wholly voluntary and no one has been forced or court-ordered in here

#4, "just medically incorrect" doesn't stand still, and there are many things unschoolers have done that match perfectly with research. With ALL research? If all research matched, we would only need one doctor and one lawyer for all the world. But much of current dietary faddishness is NOT researched. It is claimed, money is made, lives are limited, and people feel virtuous, and clean.

Anyone who believes the claims made in the quote above should either leave the group, or read the many accounts of the surprising choices children make when they HAVE choices:

Full Plate Club

Go to the original to see some comments from that time. The group is visible to the public.

More about food and eating


Eating in peace

"Building an unschooling Nest"