COLUMN: I'm more inclined to follow my belly - not the latest food fad
I'm not entirely sure when food became fashionable (although I do suspect it's got something to do with social media), but I can't imagine a time when we didn't '˜do' food. '¨Much more than fuel, food has become an activity, a hobby and even, some claim, a reason for living.
And, in the same way that we see fashion dictate the clothes we wear, the way we eat is also subject to trends. Which explains the recent upsurge of ‘dirty’ burgers and deep fried chicken across the city.
Now I’m not one to follow trends, especially when it comes to food - I’m much more inclined to follow my belly. So, for me, fads don’t really mean anything.
Sure, eating more forever-on-trend kale is unlikely to cause any harm. However, despite it being hailed for its nutritious value, it’s not the healthiest green out there. Parsley is more nutritious but I can’t see the cool kids entertaining this retro garnish at any point soon.
And this is where food trends get a little annoying - for every ‘in’ food, there must be at least ten that are well and truly ‘out’. Which, given current poverty levels, is pretty ridiculous. Or, at least, it would be if the average person actually paid that much attention to them and, thankfully, most of us don’t.
Instead, the people I find absolutely ridiculous are the ones who actively avoid on-trend food. Those who feel they’re ‘above’ pulled pork, totally over kale and sick to the back teeth of avocado. After all there’s a time and a place for everything; pulled pork is amazing, kale makes a change when the alternative is cabbage and avocado is glorious when spread on hot toast. So there.
But, instead of shunning one vegetable for another because it won’t get us as many likes on instagram, wouldn’t it be great if we were encouraged to think beyond the image of the food we eat?
There are so many other important factors to consider and I’d especially like to see people take more of an interest in the provenance and welfare of the meat, dairy and fish they eat. I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s bizarre that we’re trained to ask for free range eggs, but not give a second thought to the actual chicken! Does our love for our feathered friends only apply to egg layers?
Welfare and provenance, along with food waste, eating seasonally and understanding what ingredients go into our food, are the things that I care about. And these are the factors that dictate what I eat - not the latest fad.