Archive for November, 2011

Episode: 12

Food is supposed to go bad.


Real food goes bad. It’s alive; it lives, breathes, decays and dies, just like us. It’s nature, we’re nature. That’s how it goes, and that’s how it’s supposed to go. The great circle of life. Cue Elton John, please.

And that’s how it always was too, we grew it, raised it, picked it, caught it, killed it and kept it fresh or let it age and knew how to eat it and when to eat it by using our senses. (Remember those?)

Like smell and sight and touch and taste. …in other words, what we did before we had apps, spinning and social media.

And that’s how we survived…until the invention of Foodiness. Foodiness has re-trained us to mistrust our senses, to ignore them and deny them, with its preservatives and packaging and processing.

Who needs to know what a fresh fish smells like, or if our cheese has gotten too old (old is the point of cheese, it’s how milk reaches immortality)?

Suddenly food has become ageless, immortal, embalmed and preserved for eternity, like King Tut, or Cher…

You can’t trust Foodiness, because Foodiness doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
But just like King Tut isn’t alive and Cher isn’t real, foodiness isn’t food. So it doesn’t spoil, or rot, or decay, those of us who ingest it feel a deep sense of trust in it. But trusting that pre-scrambled “eggs” that never go bad is safer than trusting in an egg you bought and cooked yourself that will naturally go bad is like trusting your biggest secret with a 6th degree of separation Facebook “friend” over your actual real-life best friend. (Remember those?)

The point is you can’t trust Foodiness, because Foodiness doesn’t have your best interests in mind. It’s about profit, and convenience and laziness, greed and the bottom line. …everything you said you were against back when you used to smoke pot.

Real Food, on the other hand, is about nature and life and death and respect for the planet and our health. …everything that now drives you to recycle, own a Prius, or vote Democrat.

Because the mythology of Foodiness is like the mythology of the ancient Egyptians, who mummified their dead in the belief that they’d live forever in their snug, chemical-doused wrappers, like a protein bar on a shelf, quietly waiting out eternity until a harried soccer mom grabs it for her snack-deprived tot to scarf down in the mini-van.

The truth is, he’d probably be better off eating an unwrapped mummy then an unwrapped protein bar…at least the mummy started out as actual meat.

The upshot is that if your food doesn’t go bad, it probably is.

Episode: 11

If it comes in a bottle, don’t drink it. (Unless it’s booze).


Bottled water that makes you thin, young, and smart; green tea drinks that taste like lemonade; diet soda with “natural” flavors. Foodiness drinks have almost entirely highjacked real hydration.

The latest foodiness drink ready to solve your problems? Neuro: The Operating System for Life. With a tagline that reads, “there’s a Neuro for that”, the product’s claims read like something from Alice in Wonderland: there’s one to make you energetic; one to make you sleepy; one to make you focused; one to make you awake; one to make you relaxed; and one to make you horny. Hear that Alice?

What’s actually in Neuro products? Water, sugar, coloring (or basically anything you’d find in soda) and a host of other ingredients derived from compounds and chemicals that may, or may not, in their natural state have some kind of effect or “benefit”, but claiming those benefits here is as big a stretch as tomato paste on a pizza qualifying as a vegetable.

Neuro takes us so far down the foodiness rabbit hole with its seductive promises of quick fixes for every “that” you’ve got you’d think there must be a Neuro for getting out.

In fact, getting out of the rabbit hole of foodiness drinks – or drinkiness – is probably the easiest among all the foodiness groups. Unlike consuming real eggs or real meat or real fruit, all which can be extremely inconvenient, getting real with beverages is easy: just drink tap water. You don’t have to schlep to the farmer’s water market or know how to decipher labels – all you have to do is mosey over the sink and pour a glass. Consider tap water your get-out-of-foodiness-free card.

Cocktails, however, are another matter…

Additional reporting by Belinda Rodriguez.

Occupy Big Food

Watch Erica get real about Big Foodiness at November’s Occupy Big Food Rally at Zucotti Park.

Don’t forget to check out the Occupy Big Food blog!

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