Sunday, September 26, 2010

New York Times: America doesn't like veggies

As you might imagine, I was rather angry as I read the article in the NYT and its whopping 400+ comments, most of them misguided, at best. I took personal offense, as I am myself a veggie. But the Eggplant wasn't Smiling as it read the piece. An actual photo of me was taken shortly after I finished reading, which can be seen, right.

Some of the defamation (should I sue?) in the article and accompanying commentary. Veggies don't taste good. Veggies are expensive. Veggies are high-maintenance. With the inevitable clowns who always say: don't tell me what to do. Man, if you don't know what to do (and eating vegetables is right up there), someone's going to have to tell you. Not that it will help.

Veggies don't taste good. No. You don't know how to shop and/or cook. Or your taste has been so perverted from childhood that it actually thinks a Big Mac tastes better than a spinach risotto. But don't blame your mom/society/Big Agra. Take time to re-educate yourself and your taste buds.

Veggies are high-maintenance. No, you are lazy and/or have the wrong priorities. Working too much for the big house/SUV/gadgets/junk. Spending hours watching TV, prattling inanely on your cell (maybe while driving your SUV), updating your Facebook, playing videogames.

Veggies are expensive. This is one of the most pernicious lies that is said about food: that it is expensive to eat healthily. This is especially patronizing to the poor. You have to look at your overall expenditures and eating style. If you're drinking soda, eating out a lot, having too many snacks, too much coffee, booze etc., of course you're going to have difficulties with your food budget, especially since a lot of this stuff e.g. soda isn't even food to begin with. Same goes for eating too much. Those who maintain that calorie for calorie junk food is cheaper are probably right. Except that they are using the idiotic premise that food is just calories, and not nutritional value with profound long-term effects for your health and well-being. Long term effects that, when negative, can be extremely expensive, by the way. To the individual and to society.

Am I making too much of this? Am I huffy? I don't think so. Three years ago I posted a quote from Thoreau in Walden, regarding America's food and drink habits: "such apparently slight causes destroyed Greece and Rome, and will destroy England and America." And he wrote this in the mid-19th century.