Just shut up and eat

The days of Massive Family Meals are down to a mere handful, and perhaps one of the reasons, beyond a most lamentable lack of time for such things, is the upsurge in finicky eaters, and I don’t mean two-year-olds in a high chair either:

We live in the golden age of man when it comes to food. We have more than enough to feed all of us, even the poorest of us. We also have every variety of food imaginable. In addition to turkey, I’ll make an authentic Mexican dish with material from Mexico. I’ll have sides and appetizers with ingredients from around the world. Despite this bounty, everyone is now afraid of their food. Food allergies, moralizing and whack-a-doodle dietary fads have everyone looking at their plate with suspicion.

Back when this annual event started, it was easy to cook a bunch of food for a bunch of people. Besides the turkey and sides, we had beer and some store bought desserts. Then vegetarians started to show up followed by vegans. That meant adding dishes for people who don’t eat meat and those who don’t oppress their food, whatever the hell that means. Of course, beer was no longer enough so a variety of wines and cocktails were added to the menu. All of which came with a lecture from the food cultist about the morality and science of their new thing.

My first reaction is “You invited these people?”

Then again, I suppose I myself could be considered a food oppressor, a decimator times ten: I fix enough to eat, and nothing is left — nothing but bits and pieces that would disappear into the dishwasher, had I a dishwasher.

There are two basic types of pathological foodies: men and women, as follows:

My read on this faux-allergy stuff is it is mostly women. The yogurt makers have figured out how to capitalize on their psycho-somatic stomach discomfort by claiming “probiotics” are the cure. Slap a new label on the old yogurt, double the price and you have a whole new revenue stream for the Acme Yogurt Company. I wish I had thought of it.

That said, men have their own food superstitions these days. I know guys who swallow dozens of supplements every day, believing they are the key to losing weight, staying young, getting a boner, living forever, etc. If the label says good things with words containing “-trophic” then they will shell out fifty bucks for a bottle. The more made up words the better. I read some of these bottles and start laughing as the neologisms are usually nonsense.

I operate on the notion that the death rate for this species is 100 percent, that it has been for some time, and if I have [name of food you can’t abide under any circumstances] once in a while, the odds won’t change one bit.


  1. JT »

    1 February 2015 · 2:58 pm

    Probiotics to counteract the antibiotics pumped into every form of meat lately? Seems vaguely legit, from a commercial viewpoint.

    I would only ask this question for serving Italian food: If I eat pasta and antipasto in the same meal, will I still be hungry?

  2. CGHill »

    1 February 2015 · 3:05 pm

    If you eat exactly the same quantities of both, you will create a singularity, and your dining room will be sucked into it.

  3. fillyjonk »

    1 February 2015 · 3:35 pm

    I have a genuine food intolerance (as opposed to a fake allergy) but the most I’ll do is ask, “Is there celery in this?” very quietly, and if it’s answered in the affirmative, decide to fill up on bread…..

    What gets me are the people who try to shame others into eating the way they do. I once had a woman snark at me in line at the grocery store because I was buying Oreos. (I refrained from saying anything when she asked the cashier to sell her a pack of cigarettes….)

  4. backwoods conservative »

    1 February 2015 · 4:04 pm

    Food is allergic to me. It tends to disappear when I’m around.

  5. CGHill »

    1 February 2015 · 5:02 pm

    Some people’s diet plans would not work without Marlboros.

  6. canadienne »

    1 February 2015 · 5:20 pm

    Hate to bring gender stereotypes into it, but I’ve noticed that many people, predominately women, will eat things that are promised to be healthy and good for them, whereas other people, predominately men, will go in quest of things that are reputedly unhealthy, because “nobody can tell ME what to eat.” I suspect that both courses can be unhealthy, given the nature of fad diets.

    There is a bit of research that says there are some health benefits to probiotics. A lot of it involves icky discussions of how many bacteria inhabit us.

    As for me, I eat butter, and olive oil, and bacon, and arugula (and occasionally even baby kale), and cultivate not giving a damn what anyone else thinks of my choices. Have never been harassed in a grocery line. Fillyjonk, you get kudos for not smacking her upside the head.

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