Food fads: my gut feeling is…

Cover of GulpHere’s a hint: your flavour of the month had better not be bacon, sausages, fruit juices, melted cheese or cupcakes. All the fun stuff, I think you will agree.

In fact, the way things are going in the world of dietary advice and precautions, you’ll be thinking you should stick to lettuce leaves. Well, you would be so wrong. According to the very latest from the food police, lettuce has absolutely no food value whatsoever and can in fact be harmful. Apparently, piling lashings of the green stuff on the side of your potential coronary just makes you FEEL better – and eat more junk.

Cover of The Diet MythHere’s a selection of some trending foodie books that appeal to me – in some cases for all the wrong reasons:

Gulp by Mary Roach – it has a great cover and is about the “strange wet miracles of science that operate inside us”. You’ll find the answers to questions like: did Elvis die of constipation?

Books on microbiomes. OK, now take a deep breath before you read up on the latest in faecal transplants. A good place to start is the Christchurch Press article: Is clean living shortening our lives? (4 November 2015, B3). Cover of The TastemakersWe need to get down and dirty and restore the variety of microbes in our guts. And, unfortunately, that means we need to know more about “stool banks” and “faecal transplants”. Tim Spector is your go-to man here.

There is also the possibility that we are just being manipulated by clever marketeers. The Tastemakers tackles this possibility by asking: Why does food have to be trendy? Why can’t it just taste good? Like a toasted cheese sandwich used to taste, before it was gentrified with artisanal cheeses and ancient grain breads?

Cover of The Sex Life of FoodAnd finally, just because every blog is improved by the mere mention of sex, there is The Sex Life of Food. Maurice Sendak bills this book as being “Delicious, funny and  – yes – sexy”. And I checked, there is no mention of excrement anywhere here! But,  best of all – I love the author’s name –  Bunny Crumpacker. I am not making this up!

Left to my own devices I would probably eat avocado on toast and cupcakes every day. Until I tired of it, that is. Maybe I should write a book on this!

Food Fad Fury

Bring a cookbook to morning tea and suddenly everybody at the table has an opinion.

  • Matte paper looks nice for about five minutes, but don’t put the book anywhere near where you actually cook. Drops and splashes look very nasty very quickly.
  • Cover of Dr Libby's Sweet Food StoryDr. Libby sucks all the joy out of life.
  • Reading a cookbook without intending to cook from it is fine. In fact it is officially A Big Thing.
  • Close-ups of the food in its raw state do not count as an illustration. We know what dirty potatoes look like – we want to know what the finished dish should look like once we’ve cooked it.
  • Beige is big but it’s not appetising.
  • One man’s meat is another woman’s poison. Paleo Pete‘s bone marrow broth may be the basis of the Paleo diet, but the very idea induces deep shudders in non-followers. Bone broth in a baby bottle is even worse.
  • Cover of Healthy Every DayCookbook writers should just take drugs to help them recover from their rare diseases. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing. Why bring food into it?
  • If you write a cookbook all your friends have to be good looking. Those who aren’t can have their arm appear at the edge of the picture – but only their arm.
  • All your dogs also have to be attractive. Cats can’t be in cookbooks due to their habit of sitting on the table or lounging in the dishdrainer.
  • All your table cloths have to be retro. Also your china. Nothing should match. Useful if you live in Christchurch.
  • Your garden can be overgrown, but in a good way – grass long enough to attract a council fire hazard notice telling you you’re in for a fine in the real word is picturesque in cookbook world.
  • Assemblage is O.K. – wrapping a bread stick in a bit of ham with some rocket sticking out the top counts as cooking if it’s in a cookbook.
  • Nut butter is vile.

Are you infuriated by any food fads? Please share.