Tuesday, December 15, 2015

faith of our fodders

"Donald Trump would make a great president."

"I like chili dogs."

One of those things is true in the house with no name.  But, Interestingly, it is the thing that is true that seems to stir up more blog controversy than coiffure-confused political figures.

I give you as an example Sunday's essay on food budgets in Mexico (moving to mexico -- food budget).  I thought I was writing about what I could stuff in my pocket rather than what I stuff in my mouth. 

But I have learned that discussing what we eat can create far more swarming than most other topics.  Just look at the number of comments on the food budget piece.  73.  And they are still coming in.

Now, the magnitude of my shock at the reaction is a 10 on the Captain Renault sincerity scale.  I knew very well what was going to happen when I wrote the piece.  It happens every time I mention food.

I am not certain when it began, but the consumption of food has turned into a religion amongst those who no longer need to worry about the source of their next meal.  I saw it before I moved to Mexico.

My house in Salem was a prime stop on the dinner party circuit.  That is, until about 2007.  I was putting together a dinner party for eight friends and acquaintances.  The first call elicited concern about what I might be cooking.  The wife had developed an aversion to anything in the onion family.  Not a sensitivity.  Not an allergy.  Just an aversion.

The second couple wanted to make certain the lamb I was serving was raised within 50 miles of Salem.  "Think globally.  Buy locally."  I said it was.  After all, there must be a Salem somewhere in New Zealand.

The third call was to a single woman who wanted to know if she could bring her own macrobiotic food.  I told her not to bother.  There was not going to be a dinner party.  It would have helped if my guests had all signed up to exercise the same sect of food faith.

And it is a faith.  That is clear just by looking at the diet books on offer at Amazon.  All claim to be based on scientific studies.  The problem is that the faiths are contradictory.

Eat a diet of legumes; eat no beans.  Eat lots of red meat; eat no animals.  Eat fruits; do not touch fruits.  Avoid salt; salt is a necessary component of life.  Eat no bread; eat nothing but bread (not really, but I am still looking).

And that may be one reason why Americans keep on eating what they have eaten habitually.  They tend to be agnostic about promises that stop just short of promising eternal life.  When told that what they are eating will kill them, they reply: "Yup.  It probably will.  And you are going to die, as well."  Because we all are.  No matter what faith we adopt as foodies.

Maybe it is my libertarian nature, or my underlying belief that most food studies eventually turn out to be junk science, but I would never dream of telling someone else what they should eat -- or what they should wear, for that matter.  I have enough trouble keeping my own life in order.

That may be the reason I am getting a puppy.  Out of chaos, I may find the order my life lacks.  Or I may just enjoy having the ultimate chaos in my life.

More on that later.  

No comments: