I’m guessing this article won’t make me very popular – but that’s never been my thing so I’m going to write it anyways.
I have often wondered about food trends, I mean where do they come from, who decides what the cool thing to eat is at the moment, and why do people blindly jump on the bandwagon and start eating what strangers tell them too?
I mean some things I can understand, I guess – like avocado toast. But at some point it just becomes ridiculous. Avocado actually tastes ok on toast, as do nut butters, preserves, eggs, and tomatoes. But some of the shit I see on toast is ridiculous. “Avo on toast” has led to a growing list of things that just don’t make sense. Like, radishes and jalapeños, or pureed beets and hemp hearts, there was some gross cheese spread and chili (like dip your garlic toast in chili sure, but seriously), or asparagus and olives (please no), then there’s the multiple versions of eggs benedicts – yet still called eggs and avo or whatever on toast; lets stop with the silly hashtag names and just call it what it is – eggs benny.
Go on Instagram and search #toast or #ontoast and see the plethora of weird stuff on toast. I’m all about trying new things, but some things have just gone too far. Why not try eating avocado on its own, or in a salad, or maybe make some guacamole.
The most frustrating thing though, is all the food being made for Instagram shots and not actually being eaten. Please tell me who is actually cutting their dragon fruit up into little star shapes and putting them on top of toast with rose petals and some vegan spread. I don’t buy it.
On the same train there’s smoothie bowls. I drink smoothies with the best of them, but the ones that are actually healthy certainly don’t look like the ones that are spread all over Instagram. Again, some of these bowls are visually appealing, I get it, they’re beautiful – but are you actually eating a smoothie bowl that has ice cream cones or whole flowers (leaves, spines and all) in it? What is the point of tha besides the visual appeal? If my smoothie bowl tastes like ice cream, it’s probably because it’s made of ice cream; and if it has rose spines in it – it isn’t edible.
Not to mention that a smoothie bowl is a lot of the same baby food like texture. I know a lot of people who drink smoothies (myself included), but I can’t see any of them eating a giant smoothie bowl without getting totally sick of it half way through – even if it does taste like cotton candy. I drink my smoothie out of a regular cup and it’s often a horrible greenish brown color because there is actual healthy food in it.
What’s next – oh yeah cones and cups filled with cookie dough? Why the hell would anyone want to eat that much cookie dough, edible or not? First of all, I get the nostalgia around it; I hid under the kitchen table with a handful of cookie dough I stole while my mom was baking like every other kid. I also felt sick later that day because I ate a handful of cookie dough. So an entire waffle cone filled with it…and if that’s not enough lets add some sprinkles and coconut and jelly beans and whatever other random crap you can find. No thanks, I’m sorry – I just don’t get it. Eating a little cookie dough when you’re baking I can get down with, cookie dough ice cream, hell yes! But you’ve gone too far. I would like to see how long an establishment solely devoted to edible cookie dough will remain open.
Then there are things like tacos. I love tacos but most restaurants I have gone to make terrible tacos. And you know I kind of feel bad for real tacos, because their name is being dragged through the mud by every shitty restaurant that wants to make a buck off the taco trend. I’m all about experimenting with tacos at home. But the rest of the internet needs to chill out on taco everything.
Ok, I know I’m kind of ranting – but it’s been building up for a while. So I’m just going to let it all hang out.
The newest thing that just down right kind of pisses me off is charcoal. What the fuck are people doing?!?!? First of all is greyish black ice cream even remotely appealing – no it’s not, and if you say yes, I put my money on the fact that you’re lying. It looks gross.
But forget the part about it looking gross – have you actually done any research? Charcoal is used to filter water and in cases where people have ingested poison or in cases of drug overdose. The thought process around it is that if it can soak up dangerous substances like things found in traditional household cleaners and you know things like heroin that we could and should be using it routinely to cleanse our bodies of toxins that we are regularly exposed to. I get the idea around it – but you don’t just do it because it sounds right.
Or I guess you do, because people are putting it into supplements, tooth brushes and pastes, detoxifying juices, ice cream and more and ingesting it into their bodies without actually knowing the effects and/or consequences. Which, by the way can be nausea and vomiting. The best part is that we know it acts as a binder – but it doesn’t have a brain so from what I can see in the literature that does exist it doesn’t distinguish good from bad; so that juice you’ve put it into – well it’s probably taken the vitamins and minerals out of that too – so what it is that you’re actually drinking.
Basically, the problem is that there isn’t actually enough information out there to be doing this and the fact that people just jump on the bandwagon and put shit like this in their bodies is mind-blowing to me. I could go on forever here but instead I’m going to attach a couple of articles that might make you think twice about adding charcoal to your diet.
This is my opinion, I’m not a doctor, a holistic wellness expert or nutritionist – but I do have common sense.
This article makes the most sense to me, although there’s many more. Here nutritionist Cynthia Sass touches on the positives, negatives and the unknowns.
Another article on Wellness Mama suggests it can be used for teeth whitening safely (which I could probably get down with – although you can use coconut oil combined with baking soda too and that seems less frightening). Again even she acknowledges that although it’s not known to be toxic – if you take it within a couple of hours of vitamins and or certain medicines your body will not absorb them.
Then there’s the medical dictionary that gives you a bit of information on the safer uses and the potential side effects.
The information in this Best Health Magazine article is interesting, touching on the uses that seem to make more sense (like removing stains from your teeth and cleansing your skin), while still discussing the fact that ingesting activated charcoal has no proven benefits.
I could add a dozen more articles, but I’m sure you get the point.
The moral of the story, stop putting things in your body because Instagram told you to. At least do a little research, or start off slow.
The last thing I’ll complain about is Unicorn everything. Please just stop. I like unicorns, in fact when I was a kid – I loved unicorns, like that’s all I drew (well traced, because I suck at drawing) for like a solid two years. They are beautiful, majestic creatures. I own The Last Unicorn and have watched it within the last couple of years, and yes it is super weird as an adult who’s not on acid. But what I’m trying to say is that Unicorns are better left with myths and magic – they don’t need to be in our food. What do you think makes your pasta unicorn coloured by the way? A whole bunch of dye numbers that are slowly working to kill you from the inside out. There’s just no point. I’m sorry, but it’s dumb.
I love food. Anyone that knows me, knows I love food. Like it is my life. I can get down with trends like cauliflower pizza crust – because some people need alternatives. I can get excited about greek yogurt, and eating more blueberries because they’re good for you. I can even get pumped about plant butchery (although it pains me to say that and I just don’t think you can call it butchery – that’s really disrespectful for the butchers who actually study and work hard to clean and butcher an animal in the most perfect way). Zoodles are fine (although the name is irritating). I can even stand by poke (because it’s delicious), although whole restaurants entirely devoted to it are probably going a little far.
I can get excited about most things that are food – because again food is my life. But stop putting sparkles in everything, stop putting donuts and cake on top of my milkshake, stop turning everything an artificial color of purple and stop photographing food that no human would actually ingest. PLEASE. STOP.
Sorry if I’ve burst your food trend bubble. But these things that I talked about they’re barely food.
My not so humble suggestions – eat real food, try to eat some raw food, eat vegetarian sometimes, eat homemade food, good food, experiment at home with friends and family, go to restaurants using real ingredients in innovative ways, and have fun with food; and if you make something for Instagram – try actually eating it.
Till next time,