I left the comment below over at weightmaven.org, which is operated by friend Beth Mazur. Beth and I have interacted collegially, including when she published a guest post of mine a few weeks ago.
Mazur was quoting another writer I follow, Michelle Allison, aka the Fat Nutritionist. I've tried to interact with her, but she prefers not to. Allison's "quote of the day" as highlighted by Mazur, averred that "all foods, like all women, are real.”
I did see it when Allison posted it, but when I heard the Internet echo chamber start to resound, I was moved to comment. And then I was to put it here, too:
I find baffling, and disappointing, the buy-in of Big Food’s relentlessly promoted message that there’s no meaningful difference between minimally processed fruits of the earth and food-like products manufactured with dozens of unpronounceable, unidentifiable ingredients.
When human-like beings begin with human DNA but have been folded, spindled, and mutilated using dozens of unpronounceable, unidentifiable ingredients, then we will have to revisit that definition, too.
Until then, the comparison is spurious, not to mention odious.
I'm willing to concede that the line at which "too much" processing occurs, changing a plant into Frankenfood, is not definitive. But to say that all things people eat are foods is an abdication of judgment. Some people eat dirt. Some kids eat their boogers. Food is many things to many people, but if nutrition isn't at the top of the list, "food" fails its primary purpose.