Food Trends: Go Figure

When it comes to food, nothing “just happens.”  Everything has a reason. We just have to figure out what that reason is.

If we had to identify the most obvious food trend it would almost certainly be green. We must eat green to get in the pink. We are deeply obsessed with healthy food.

Right.

Why is corn on the cob good but popcorn bad? (Garrison Keillor observed, “Sex is good but sweet corn is better.”)

We are ignoring dire warnings about the evil of salt. But. Sea salt was prominently listed on 2,621 European product launches last year. Here, lawmakers hint darkly they will soon ban salt in restaurants. O.K. We’ll have fleur de sel instead.

Q.  Why do we love the In-N-Out  restaurant chain?

A.   Because it is healthier. Really? Eat This Not That (Rodale Books, 2008) says: ”The In-N-Out Chocolate Shake might be made with real ice cream but it still has as much saturated fat as six burgers!” Yikes.

Americans eat 818 hot dogs every second! Every second! Hot dogs are rarely described as healthful or gourmet, but New York Magazine reports: restaurants are bridging the gap between “dirty water dogs” sold on street corners and high-quality cuisine. Say “Good Dog” to green $10 dogs with organic, healthy toppings.

Why oh why do we love Jell-O? Why do we adore potato chips? Why do we crave pizza? Macaroni and cheese annual sales are up 25 percent to $802 million. None of these are health foods. They are not even green.

Is it kind to kill a chicken humanely just so we can eat it?

Why do we dote on donuts and bagels? Is it because they are hole foods?

The product most frequently bought in the supermarket is diet soda. Why? Possibly because it contains O. It’s  just a cool can of fizz.

Why are we addicted to chocolate? Scientists have recently decoded the DNA of single estate chocolate. Molé

An article published in the Science of Food and Agriculture allows us to consider the astonishing suggestion that beers containing lots of hops may (or presumably may not?) promote better bone health. This theorizing advances a hypothesis based on a hypothetical. Nice try though.

In a recent poll, three out of four adults said that they were trying to eat healthier than they did two years ago yet research reveals menu items that are identified as being healthy are some of the least popular items. When fast food chains set up a salad bar in a prominent location what happens? Sales of cheeseburgers soar.

Nearly 20 percent of consumers say they’d be more likely to eat out for breakfast on weekdays if options were more healthful. Restaurateurs are skeptical. (This kind of thinking parallels the astute observation by a sports commentator who opined: “If it had gone in, it would have been a goal). Duh!

Those who worry about our health warn us that French fries are junk food but mashed potatoes with butter and cream are very good. Indeed, many consider a decent size serving of mashed potatoes is one that will accomodate both buttocks.

The sugar in cookies is bad. The sugar in honey is good. Is it true this is the same sugar as that found in high fructose corn syrup?

Everything cooked at home by Mom is good, even if this means Mom tossed a box of spaghetti into boiling (salted) water, unscrewed a jar of pasta sauce and sprinkled the pasta with “cheese” from a green container. This is a homemade meal because it was made at home even though processed food is bad.

Everything that comes in a can or from a freezer or is processed in any way is not good even though canned and frozen veggies are processed the moment they are harvested and “fresh” food may have languished in the supermarket before being put in the home refrigerator for several days, losing nutrients every second of every day. Even so all fresh vegetables are good. Cauliflower is particularly good, though it consists of 90 percent water. Cucumber may be cool and iceberg lettuce even cooler but these vegetables are mostly shaped green water.

Frozen fish is not as good as fresh fish though fish, frozen at sea the moment it is caught is fresher than fresh fish that has been sloshing around in the hold of a ship for several hours.

Some folk are willing indeed eager to pay a huge amount of money for raw unpasteurized milk that is truly terribly bad for their health. The same people refuse to accept the idea of irradiated food though many thousands die from preventable food born illnesses every year.

We throw away tons and tons of food fearing hungry people might sue us if they eat the food that we eat when we could quite easily provide them with a pencil and politely ask them to sign a waiver.

Worldwide four people are killed by sharks.  Everyone in the world is afraid of sharks.

During the past 25 years there have been 139 deaths from mad cow disease. The odds of contracting mad cow disease are one in 10 billion. This doesn’t mean the risk is zero but it is as close to zero as you can get.

There has been a huge increase in those who choose to be vegetarian. Weekday vegetarians are all the rage. Meatless Mondays is an idea that is galloping forward. Wellness advocates denounce the use of additives in our food. Additives prevent the salt from clumping, the ice cream from crystallizing and prevents the eruption of bugs of bugs in the flour.

A homemade cake contains the same ingredients as a cake bought from a bakery or baked from ingredients found in a box.

Some folk prefer to eat an apple with a worm in it as this proves it has been organically grown without pesticides.

Life expectancy in Japan is 86 years. Japanese people snack on a bar made of dried sardines and slivered almonds. Maybe it just feels like 86 years?

Life expectancy in Switzerland is 84 years. Could it be due to the chocolate and fondue?

Life expectancy in France is 84. years. Could it be due to the butter, red wine and garlic?

Life expectancy in Italy is 83.5 years. Could it be due to the pasta and pizza?

Life expectancy in the United States is 80.8 years. Could it be due to all that bacon? In the U.S. there is bacon, bacon everywhere. Even, it is rumored in the new Coke… Bacon mania marches on with Bakon vodka.  How long before we swoon for male underarm bacon antiperspirant?

Tapas taps into the need for more being less or is it the other way round?

14,408 people are murdered every year, many by their spouse. So let’s ban marriage for everyone.  Lets all live in sin, eat what we want when we want it, be happy and live for ever.