We Are Afraid of our Food

Gluten-free has taken off because we don’t spend any time making our own food or even learning about it. Has anyone baked bread recently? Who knows that gluten is a key part of raising bread? My favorite theory is that the fear of gluten is mostly a product of us eating a lot of super-processed junk food–fast rising bread via the Chorleywood process and doesn’t give the yeasty beasties and their associated bacteria friends time to pre-digest your bread for you.

Some decide to take on the paleo diet, to reject that fiend gluten, and the more committed among us are into the idea of hunting and getting in touch with our meat. Noble, certainly, but we could also get in touch with our food by learning to grow and cook it, whether animal or vegetable. “Paleo” is just another way to avoid learning to cook or bake, because our cave ancestors were supposedly too busy running from the saber tooth tigers to slowly braise that mammoth ham or wait for a loaf of bread to rise. So it becomes an excuse.

We are also thrilled by the idea of kale, because it supposedly has a million vitamins in it and is something of a challenge to eat. It’s tough to eat sometimes, so we determine that it’s “healthy.” There are so many other deep greens to eat and get similar vitamins out of–you don’t have to eat your daily dose of kale if you eat your vegetables otherwise. But in the interest of efficiency, we choose kale and call it a “superfood.”

For all the attention that food gets these days, people really don’t seem to have a clue about the details. How is a super-processed, but gluten-free, cookie good for you? It’s like when candy gets labeled fat-free. Who cares? It’s still junk food. I saw Kombucha labeled gluten-free yesterday. In what world is fermented sugar-tea not gluten-free?

Learn to cook and bake and grow a vegetable other than invincible kale!

Advertisements