Foodie-ism: a National Epidemic?

No cynicism here: the bee finds yummy potential in many flowers. Even those without truffle oil.

Miles run today: 11

Column filed today: 1

On a scale of one to 10, how great it is to lie in bed and smell pancakes being cooked by your husband: 10.5

Our neighbors’ puppy was out yesterday, taking the yard in tight circles, all NASCAR-like. The owner said they had taken the Cutest Puppy in the World to the mountains on a long hike this past weekend; they thought he’d be worn out. But no dice. Still energetic.

Our son is a puppy. We must make sure he goes outside each day for exercise. Rain, hail, snow, 100-degree temperatures… we’re outside.

When our son was young, a friend told us, “You do realize that you’re only increasing his stamina, right?”

This disturbing thought had not occurred to me.

I wondered if I should be yelling, “Now, lie down! Watch two hours of TV! Don’t get up!”

But I never did.

And now, something even more sinister is occurring amongst the children of this nation: Foodie-ism. Well-meaning adults have created monsters; little creatures who know how to operate garlic presses and mandolins, food processors and pineapple corers. My children think that homemade bread is a God-given right.

I am not, in any way, suggesting that my kids would turn down Doritos. Heaven forbid.

But when I made a Cooking Light alfredo sauce for chicken and vegetable pasta the other night, my daughter said, “You know, this is really just like the white cheese sauce on Velveeta Shells and Cheese.”

I looked at her very hard.

And then I had to acknowledge that a child who, when asked by her grandmother what she would most like her to make when she was at her house, said “salmon with capers,” is a bit of a food snob.

The little, almost-5-year-old girl down the street eats olives by the handful. Not just any olives, but the high-end kind. She can tell the difference.

A recent picnic at a local park revealed to me that some local kids love brie. (Mine prefer Havarti.) They ate prosciutto like it was going out of style, wrapping it around their hands in much the same way as I used to remove the edges of my Oscar Mayer bologna.

My mother was a gourmet cook, channeling Julia Child and whipping up coq au vin with delightful regularity. But some things just weren’t available at our local grocery stores.

When I was five, I didn’t know that prosciutto existed. Mangoes were things people ate in other countries. And pineapples were things we bought in cans. I remember reading in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe about turkish delight, and it sounded fantastically exotic. Now that I’ve had it, the magic is gone.

I am wondering if we should put Foodie-ism on the president’s four-year gotta-address list. I mean, Michelle has all those kids farming kohlrabi and Swiss chard in the White House gardens.

What frontier of food will exist for my kids when they are grown and every Twinkie has been fried at the state fair, every pepper has been bred to the highest mark on the Scoville scale, and every Kobe beef burger is cooked to the perfect degree of done-ness?

Where does it end, people?

Perhaps, for me, it ends at truffle oil. I have never (knowingly) ingested truffle oil, though I am sure I would love it.

I will not allow any to pass my lips, because I know it is a slippery slope to Foodie-ism. Do not invite us to dinner if you are serving anything involving truffle oil. I am trying to protect my children and their futures.

What is your most exotic food indulgence? What would you eat for your last meal on earth?

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