Crunchy isn’t a word that I had heard prior to moving to Ithaca, NY. My closest guess the first time I was called “crunchy” was that it had something to do with granola-eating hippies. As it turns out, that is *exactly* where the nickname comes from. Now that word is used to describe preferences for sustainable practices, organic/local/pastured food, eschewing modern chemicals, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, and, yes, making your own granola. The irony is not lost on me, though, that I am grain-free, but I am labeled in association with granola for it.
So what is the real meaning of “crunchy”? These things can’t all be crunchy, can they? They can and they are. Crunchy isn’t a neat little box with a standard set of rules like “gluten-free” or “vegetarian”. In fact, both vegetarian and gluten-free are crunchy life choices. So are paleo and vegan. Confusing, right? Crunchy is a blanket-term. It’s a blanket (made from 100% pasture-raised, humanely-collected, un-dyed sheep’s wool) that wraps everyone that is concerned about the environment, the purity of the food system, what they put in/on their bodies, and how best to raise their children. Crunchy is a mindset of active engagement with the biology in our lives. It is a stance of compassion, study, and holism.
Unfortunately, with such a broadly applicable meaning crunchy can be both inclusive AND divisive. Because there are so many different themes within the crunchy-sphere, it is inevitable that people with conflicting beliefs will share “crunchy” as a label. For example, vegans don’t eat animals or animal products (even honey) and the paleo/primal crowd LOVES animals and animal products and eats them with gusto. Despite being on opposite sides of the dietary divide, both of these groups of people are crunchy. There are other forums to debate which of the two are “right”. The point we care about is that these are people that are awake. They are questioning the status quo, the social norms, and finding answers through practice and experimentation.
Whew! That got deep. Let’s zoom in a little. Our target demographic here at Crunchy on the Inside is crunchy people. We discussed above that “crunchy” can be a tricky label. To help you with that we’ve developed this handy quiz! You’re just 8 short questions away from knowing if you’re crunchy or not AND which branch of crunchy you belong to!
Are you the The Original: You make granola so you have a topping for your homemade yogurt (that may or may not be made from cow’s milk).
Maybe you’re Extra-Crunchy: You live only on what you can grow, hunt, or forage. You hunt large game with your bare hands.
Take the quiz and find out!
Okay, okay, OKAY! So that quiz is pretty silly, but that’s intentional. While each of those answers probably defines *someone*, the sheer diversity of folks within the crunchy-sphere could never be well-sorted by a quick internet quiz!
The real point in all this, is that we’re all a little crunchy around here. If you weren’t, I can’t imagine why you’d be reading all this. My crunchy probably looks different from yours, and that’s OK. More than OK! We want Crunchy on the Inside to be a place of discussion and learning. All flavors and factors of crunchy welcome!