12/12/2013 10:07 am ET Updated Feb 11, 2014

Can We Please Stop Accusing Each Other of Eating "Chemicals"?

All I want for Christmas is for people on Facebook to stop accusing each other of eating "chemicals."

Lately, comments like "Sorry, but that muffin is full of chemicals" and "No offense, but do you know what kinds of chemicals are in those crackers?" are making me feel downright grinchy.

In fact, I'd love to declare a holiday moratorium on comments that start with "Sorry, but... " or "No offense, but... "

I'm not making this plea because the points aren't sometimes valid. Artificial food dyes, flavors, and preservatives are chemicals that concern a lot of people. I get it. These additives concern me too.

But I'm making this plea because these kinds of comments aren't helpful. Nobody is ever going to change their mind or their habits because someone bullied them about it on Facebook (read my post: "Fear & Loathing on Facebook").

So to these crabby commenters, I say this: If you happen upon a photo or status update and are tempted to inform the person that whatever they are about to eat (or God forbid already ingested!) is full of chemicals or is in some other way deadly, unless they are accidentally sipping on Windex, please reconsider. Here's a handy holiday etiquette guide:

  • Someone posts a picture of their child's lunch. Instead of saying: "I sure hope those strawberries are organic. Non-organic strawberries are drenched in chemicals!" You could say: "Those look delicious! The organic ones at my market have been terrific."
  • Someone posts a picture of a snack in a baggie. Instead of saying: "No offense, but you must hate the Earth because you are slowly murdering the planet with those sandwich bags." You could say: "I just got these reusable bags on Etsy and love them. Here's the link if you're interested."
  • Someone writes about drinking their favorite holiday coffee beverage. Instead of saying: "OMG, do you even KNOW what's in that peppermint syrup?" You could say: "I started making my own peppermint mochas at home, here's the recipe."
  • Someone posts about feeding their kid fast food or a Lunchable or another food that you don't approve of. Instead of saying: "If you cared about your child's health, you wouldn't be feeding them that." You could: scroll right past and not say anything at all.

Because after all, aren't the holidays supposed to be full of good cheer? And maybe a cup of hot cocoa or two. Just not the Swiss Miss kind (I hear it's full of chemicals).