3/28/16

Quinoa . . .

I want to talk with you about one of my favorite absurdities in the world . . . food trends. You know what I mean - the grapefruit diet, the Atkins diet, the Hollywood Cookie diet, the I-decided-I'm-allergic-to-gluten-trend, the Kale movement, the no-sugar diet, the soy milk thing, the farm to table push. 

Let me be clear - I don't care about any one of these food trends as a one-off (that is a lie, I resent most of them on principle alone) but, collectively, I think they are just about the most ridiculous things imaginable. I get why peg-rolling your jeans was cool in the 80s. I get why boy bands were hot in the 90s. I get why smart phones and buying books digitally were immense in the 00s. I get why throat tattoos had their time in the sun a few years ago. I get all that. 

Trends and fads are about belonging and the greater culture and the greater sense of "us". That is why every Disney movie makes a billion dollars, every reality TV show is "loathed" but carries huge audiences, and that is why the NFL remains popular. No one is really, truly paying attention to these things or into them. They just sorta "do" them.

Enter quioa. You know what quinoa is? DELICIOUS. You know what else it is? Dumb. Quinoa is a high-protein "grain alternative" that has been a staple of Latin American food for actual ages. Why has it been popular there? Because they had it before Lululemon yoga pants. I kid. No one but American fad-followers is rocking $160 yoga pants so thin you can see the wearer's colon. Nope. They ate it because it was local and cheap and . . . delicious. But then it got "cool" and all the hipsters and idiots and rice-adverse "needed" it in their lives (this was just between tart cherry juice for sleep aid and fair trade honey mustard). It was so popular that the locals couldn't actually keep up. Like any misplaced gentrification of an urban neighborhood this was just people being people and the others suffering.

Well, like everything else the quinoa craze has faded a little bit, the supply has come up, the cost has gone down and everyone will live another day . . . with whatever trend comes next all over their bodies and plates.