Cornography and the disappearing diet

I am starting to wonder if we are undergoing a bit of pollan-ography. He seems to be everywhere preaching about the downfalls of the American diet and our addiction to cheap, corn-laden food. His son even coined the term “cornography”. I see his books everywhere – and the most recent “Food Rules” which is a 30 minute read about what you should and should not eat. They are essentially, his idea of rules. Some helpful, some silly. Beyond his books and journalism, he has become a sort of celebrity. A FT article published two days ago is more about Pollan the man, as opposed to his solutions on what we should do about our broken food system, and New York Magazine recently followed him around asking what he eats while in NY for 48 hours. They even talk about how good looking he is…

Although slightly annoyed by all this celebrity-ness around food and nutrition, and my consistent wonderment why ACTUAL nutritionists cannot seem to get any press for their years of diligent work in understanding how we eat and what we eat, I am still impressed with Pollan and what he has done to draw attention to food. I admit that maybe I am a little jealous. Why didn’t I make food system talk more marketable! DRATS…

He has also touched on the sad fact that traditional diets are largely disappearing. With my recent move from America to Italy, I realize how proud a country can be of their food, where it comes from and how it is prepared. Remember the t-shirt Madonna wore in Papa Don’t Preach – “Italians do it better”? Well, it’s true. The food rocks and they know it. They do their damn best to preserve it and the culture around it – so much so, that it is hard to find any other cuisine in Rome beyond Roman. I still have yet to see a French restaurant.

However there is a sad side note to this. Since arriving, I see many 1 liter bottles of coca cola on dinner tables as opposed to a hearty bottle of red wine. How can one deny the wine I ask? I am also seeing similar trends of chunky kids running around, as you see in the US. They just look and sound cuter when screaming italian and throwing water balloons at you, in their prada sunglasses. And the Mediterranean diet, although traditionally found in places of Southern Italy and Crete, is slowly fading. How sad is that! Perhaps Pollan needs to write a book on this – basta to cornography, bring on Mambo Italiano! He touts that we should eat mainly plant foods. Well the Mediterranean diet is all about the abundance of plant foods, fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert, lotsa olive oil, cheese and the damn good greek yogurt, fish consumed in moderate amounts, and less red meat.

Oh yeah, and lots of wine.

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2 Responses to Cornography and the disappearing diet

  1. Michael says:

    Corn laden food? Really? Yes there is corn associated with some of the things we eat, but corn laden! There are overweight people in countries that do not grow or import corn. There were overweight people in the world before most of the world had heard of corn. People who grew up on this continent eating corn before the europeans came were not overweight.
    I have another culprit for you, lack of exercise. Modern man does not have to hustle for his food anymore. In the industrialized world it is as near as the fridge. Have you ever seen a fat person who has to really work for a living? Not today’s desk jobs, hard physical work.
    We live in a land of plenty. Plenty of food, plenty of vacations, plenty of holidays, plenty of short work days, plenty of opportunity to listen to people who do not know what they are talking about.
    We worry about our children’s weight yet we park them in front of the TV. We pass laws making it illegal for kids to work, protect them from strenuous activity and feed them full of sugar. It’s no wonder they get fat. Get out and do, blaming our expanding waist lines on only one product is stupid.

    • Derek says:

      hey Michael, why don’t you read what she wrote instead of using this as a vehicle to promote your corny cause? I didn’t see anywhere where she was blaming corn, she was sort of criticizing the Pollan-mania and how people should make their own decisions about food.

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