Food is the new politics.
Not only do we have Michael Pollen commenting on every aspect of “Big Food,” but we have a million food bloggers espousing everything from grain-free diets to Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Everything. And don’t forget chocolate, which continues to be more of a religion than political stance.
And, now, food has also moved into legal territory.
That’s right, people. We now have — drum roll, please — food crimes.
Okay, fine. Unless you’re Hannibal Lecter, these aren’t likely to land you in actual jail. But they will certainly get you judged as heck, especially if you spout your opinions on social media (but that’s what it’s for, right!?). Fact of the matter is, people get pretty emotional about their foodie-ness these days, sometimes in good fun and sometimes not.
What exactly are we talking about? What are these supposed food crimes?
Well, we’ll tell you. Without further ado, here are nine of the most trending “controversial” food crimes and what these foods have done to deserve this title.
1. Kale Love
Meet the kale lovers, who get suuuuuper up in arms about anyone who doesn’t worship this iron-rich leafy green as much as they do. As far as they’re concerned, not paying homage to kale is tantamount to not caring about your health/your children/your life/your soul. What’s next, black magic?!
Luckily, say the kale lovers, you can reverse this crime and save yourself that awful fate. All you have to do is get some Lacinato in your life, like, yesterday.
2. Or Kale Hate
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the kale haters, those who hold that the kale lovers should just shut the H-E-double-hockey-sticks up already. Kale lovers are seen by kale haters as evangelizers who aren’t perpetrating so much a crime as full-on vegetable-based persecution.
Now, it’s fair to say the kale obsession has gone a little far. I mean, once there’s a tee shirt and a legit hashtag associated with a food, haven’t we passed the point of reason?
3. Pineapple on Pizza
Remember when the president of Iceland said he wanted to ban pineapple on pizza? For actual real? To a classroom full of schoolchildren? Yeah, so does he, especially after being forced to issue a public apology. The bigger lesson here? If you’re going to commit this food crime, it’s best to do it in the privacy of your own home.
4. Cilantro. Full Stop.
You might think cilantro’s bad rap comes from the number of food-borne illness scandals in which it has starred, but not so. Some people just downright hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. The most offended even claim that the amount of cilantro keeps increasing every time they order a burrito or taco — a conspiracy theory on the level of JFK and Roswell, wouldn’t you say?
5. Biting String Cheese
Gasp! Our second-grade selves are still horrified by this one. Everyone knows that when you’re eating this heavily processed and completely un-classy food, you still have to follow convention:
- Open the package.
- Throw away the plastic.
- Start pulling off strings like a civilized human being.
And don’t you dare whine about getting it under your fingernails. That’s part of the fun.
6. Forking Pizza
People. If you are ever tempted to take a fork and knife to your slice of pizza, do yourself a favor: put the utensils down and go find something else to eat instead. According to The Pizza Police, this food crime may be the equivalent to slurping your noodles at dinner with the Queen — that’s how offensive it is.
So next time you’re offered a slice of pie, wear a bib like the rest of us, then plunge your hands elbow-deep in hot, melted cheese. (And let’s not even get started with what happens when an East Coaster observes you failing to fold your slice.)
7. Dried Herbs and Spices
Humans have faithfully gathered, dried, powdered, extracted, and stored herbs for millennia, for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Today, though? Dried herbs have taken on an amateur flavor (no pun intended), signifying someone who obviously isn’t a “serious” cook.
If you want to impress the likes of Giada de Laurentiis and the Barefoot Contessa, don’t you dare pull out that jar of dried dill. Instead, get your bunch from the year-round farmers market like a “real” chef. (Who are these people kidding, though?!)
8. Ketchup-ing Your Fries
Think putting ketchup ON your fries is the same as dipping your fries IN ketchup? Think again. Apparently even a ketchup packet doesn’t deserve the disrespect of being squirted over a pile of fried potatoes. So, make a little mountain in the corner and don’t embarrass yourself or any of the rest of us again.
9. Scooping the Insides Out of Bread
Oh, you thought it was okay to cut the top off of a roll, boule, baguette, or bagel and then scoop out the insides to fill it with meat, cheese, or fruit spread? Well, just stop. We don’t want to have to call Scotland Yard on your well-meaning but hopelessly boorish behind. Oh, and especially bagels. Come on, people. They already have a hole in them. Show some respect.
Which Food Crimes Are You Guilty Of?
So, are you committing any of these food crimes? If so, we strongly recommend you rethink your evil ways. Or, you know, just continue to be yourself and make choices in favor of your well-being (kale hate be darned!). That always works great, too.
Did we miss any particularly heinous food crimes? If we did, please post them to the comments below!