Years ago, beat comedian George Carlin asked the immortal question: where’s the blue food?
“I often wonder why there’s no blue food. Every other color in well represented in the food kingdom. And don’t bother me with blueberries; they’re purple. The same is true with blue corn and blue potatoes. They’re purple.
“Blue cheese? Nice try. It’s actually white cheese with blue mold.
“Occasionally, you might run across some blue Jell-o in a cafeteria. Don’t eat it. It wasn’t supposed to be blue. Something went wrong.”
Carlin came up with his own answer in later routines: “It probably bestows mortality that’s why we haven’t been given any.”
While today’s over-paid celebs aren’t necessarily enjoying the “blue food,” or at least they aren’t as far as we know — they are enjoying a version of healthy food that is simply another evidence of the rising difference between working poor and luxuriating rich in this culture.
As the Associated Press reported this week: “Walk into ‘Pure Food and Wine’ on Manhattan’s chic Irving Place and out back to its spacious, luxurious garden, and you might spot actress Katie Holmes. Or Alec Baldwin and his new girlfriend, whom he met at the restaurant.
“Or football player Tom Brady. Or radio host Howard Stern. Or Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea, who’ve made a number of visits together, enjoying the sweet corn and cashew tamales with portabella or a mint sundae for dessert. Or any number of Wall Street moguls.
“It could be any trendy New York eatery, but Pure serves only vegan and raw food, with nary an egg nor an oven in sight. Its upscale clientele is a mix of vegans, vegetarians and just plain foodies, but clearly a sign of how the image of veganism has changed in recent years.
“Call them the big-time vegans: The celebrity standard-bearers for a vegan lifestyle aren’t just wispy young actresses. They include talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, along with wife Portia de Rossi. (Or Oprah Winfrey, who isn’t vegan but led her staff on a public 21-day vegan cleanse.) Or men like Ozzy Osbourne and Russell Brand, who in recent weeks both declared themselves vegans. Athletes like Carl Lewis and Mike Tyson. Even NFL player Tony Gonzalez, tight end for the Atlanta Falcons and 245-plus pounds, attributes his longevity to a largely vegan diet.”
Of course you don’t have to be rich to go vegan.
Most of the poor rarely taste REAL beef. They are relegated to packaged food, packaged “meat” and prepared food substitutes that are less expensive and are really bad for you.
The food that is being consumed by the adults, and children, of the increasingly unhealthy working poor in this culture of incredible income extremes, is making a subculture of unhealthy Americans.
It’s been doing that for a couple of generations, ever since the mothers of America were forced into the work place and replaces hours of preparation each day with a quick stop at a fast food source, or whipped up packaged food substitutes.
It’s a reality that we don’t like to face, especially during the week when we are supposed to be celebrating the traditional American family feast, but the reality is that the Norman Rockwell image of a family meal is long gone for much of working class America.
Maybe it would be a good idea for us to stop lying to ourselves about food inflation and start facing the truth for a change.
— Chuck Smith