What Would Popeye Do?

I’m a man. And I like vegetables. Is that a problem?

According to a study to be published this fall, consumers strongly associate eating meat with masculinity, and other food, like soy, is “weak and wimpy.”

I don’t buy it.

What’s manly? Growing your own food. Picking mushrooms, nuts, and berries. Raw cabbage salad with peanuts. Urban farms, on rooftops or in empty lots. Eating beans and rice (a complete protein!). Making your own sauerkraut. Refusing to prop up a sometimes morally and environmentally dubious meat industry.

The study goes on to say, “red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food.” As a self-declared strong, traditional, macho, occasionally bicep-flexing American, I am upset. (Plus, what kind of category is that, anyway?)

I don’t want to go too deep into this. De gustibus non est disputandum, right? But I think there is something masculine about deciding to eat vegetables instead of meat. And I won’t let this study go unchallenged.

(A related internet sensation: see “Woman Laughing Alone with Salad.”)

What do you think? Is there something inherently manly about eating red meat? Let us know in the comments below. You can read more about the study here (pdf).

Images from public domain and from flickr user Scorpions and Centaurs

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