Celine Rahman

Office Food-Shaming Is Totally A Thing, And Here’s How You Can Avoid It

“Come eat my shame apple with me," my office bestie wrote one afternoon over Gchat.

At first, I thought this was slang for something that went entirely over my head, so I ran "shame apples" through Urban Dictionary. Nope, shame apples aren’t a thing, but UD helpfully suggested I define it.

“Your what apple?” I responded.

I made eye contact with her across the office. She laughed awkwardly.

“Shame apple,” she explained. “I feel awkward eating it at my desk. Let’s go in the hallway."

I followed up with a confused emoji, but we both got up and made our way outside. This was a thing that went on for a couple weeks. She’d message me about her shame apple or shame pear or shame grapes and ask if we can eat them in the hallway far away from prying eyes.

Several weeks later, another coworker confessed to feeling shame when eating her apple. When I asked what made the fruit so embarrassing, neither had a clear answer, claiming something about the nose it makes biting into it or the fact that it was juicy. It was all in their heads, they admitted, but it still made them feel awkward.

You know you’re eating shame food when you have to pause to look around the office between each bite to see if anyone is making eye contact. You wait until the person next to you leaves or until your area has been deserted. You feel uncomfortable chewing loudly, even though you know in the back of your mind no one can actually hear you.

Whether it’s chips, messy sandwiches or juicy fruits, these are all the foods that leave us blushing.

Fruits, any fruits

The shame: Something about the act of chomping into them is a little too animalistic for the office. And sometimes the juice gurgles make awkward sounds. And okay, we're going to just come out and say it, it looks like we’re eating p*ssy.

No shame: Cut your fruits prior to eating. It eliminates the creepy biting face and also doesn’t get juice all over your hands.

Pasta

The shame: That slurp. That stupid face you make when you have noodles hanging from your mouth.

No shame: Stick to elbows, rigatoni and penne. They're queens of the no-slurp committee.

Eggs

The shame: They smell real bad. Like, stink-up-the-entire-room-with-farts bad.

No shame: Bring hardboiled eggs that don't smell as offensive as a freshly cooked omelette. If you refuse to eat cold eggs, bring them in a wrap and open it bit by bit.

Anything that looks like a d*ck

The shame: Shoving it in your mouth. Enjoying it. Lollipops are especially phallic. Doing anything borderline-sexual, really.

No shame: Get your head out of the gutter.

Chips

The shame: They’re crunchy AF and you know everyone can hear you chewing.

No shame: No one can hear you chew. Calm the f*ck down. Just don’t be that person who leaves her mouth open while brainstorming.

Tuna salad

The shame: It smells like baked armpit.

No shame: Whatever you do, don’t lock yourself in the conference room and eat it. Whoever has to use it after you will hate you forever and you’ll be labeled “tuna girl” for the rest of your career. If you must tuna, take that 30 minute break outside.

Green juice

The shame: Oh, you’re sipping on your juice and skipping lunch? What a great way to make work friends (not).

No shame: They’re all secretly jealous, Great Juice Queen.

Pizza

The shame: People are totally staring as you get sauce, cheese and grease all over your chin.

No shame: You can either be a psycho and blot all the grease away, eat it with a fork and knife or just horde a ton of napkins. Create a graveyard with all your used towels.