I don't know how anyone thinks it's okay to comment on another person's lunch beyond "that looks good!" or similar. Any sort of judgmental comment on a co-worker's food is completely unprofessional and inappropriate.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
I was eating cheese curds the other day (a major weakness for me!) and a coworker said, "BUT THEY ARE SO EXPENSIVE!" Yeah, ok, $10 for 4 days' worth of a filling snack....I don't understand how that's more expensive than some cafeteria mystery meat sandwich.
I get comments too, "positive" ones. What's that great smell? must be Jim and his health food. yea, he doesn't eat wheat so he makes extravagant meals. and so on.
Not a big deal if it did not happen every day. My boss is the worst.
An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building, and after 50 floors says, 'So far so good!'
I would stop eating with them, if they can't understand how rude they sound. When I'm with friends and they comment excesively on what I eat I just stay silent until they get that their annoying me. For me, giving that uncomfortable silence treatment works, because I don't get uncomfortable, they do. I'm just calmly eating my meal.
Ha, ha, this problem is annoying. I posted a similar thread over on Robb's forum here:
Robb Wolf | Performance, Health & Longevity Forum • View topic - Have You Been Criticised for your Paleo Lifestyle?
The simple way out of conflict, I've found is to say I'm eating low carbs, that more or less works - though you then get the 'but you need carbs' comments. There are some positive responses though, but I would say most of them are critical in a nitpicking sort of way. Don't worry about it if possible anyway as you are doing the right thing which is what matters most.
Honestly, I wouldn't go into it at all. I just say "I like eating_____" and leave it at that. No theory or philosophy.
The revival of this thread is right on time. I have a co-worker, slightly junior to me, who comments on my lunch or breakfast almost every day. And not just my lunch, but also my coffee and tea. It's weird, and a little uncomfortable, and I'm not sure what to say to her.
Our office environment is casual/friendly, and she's just teasing - nothing hostile or meanly intended. But it's incessant. She thinks it's weird to have a sliced avocado with lime for lunch, she thinks my primal chili smells weird, she thinks cold berries are an unpleasant breakfast. I use a little french press at work for my coffee so I can get high quality/not moldy coffee instead of FLAVIA out of the communal makers we have, and she always comments on my "fancy coffee". And full-leaf tea with a strainer is also "fancy" and deserving of comment.
I like her, and I think it's honestly just her way of "bonding" with me. We get along great, but don't have much in common, so this is how she's decided we'll relate. But it's kind of annoying, even if well-intentioned.
I tend to bring the strangest things to lunch purposefully to invoke comments! Guess I'm just contrary that way.
"What is that smell! Oh, sarasue's eating sardines straight out of the can again..."
To be fair, I don't leave the sardine can in a trashcan inside but when I bring strange stuff to lunch at least I control the comments - somehow that makes them less annoying.