Food-Nazis, vegans that eat seafood and the KKK nightmare
MY COLUMN last week regarding my rights as an omnivore struck a chord with quite a few readers, sparking a flurry of emails both agreeing and disagreeing with my point of view.
Some took me to task, labelling me a bad friend for not wanting to make my newly vegan visitors feel at home by embracing their dietary choices.
I neglected to explain that their decision to become vegan was made for health reasons (theirs, not that of various farmyard animals).
I have a hard time denying the rights of anyone to not eat animal-based foods because they can't eat anything with a mother, or because their throat closes over if they eat shellfish.
But if you were happy to eat a chook or a cow three months ago, why I should have to cook and share foods that produce more gas than a dozen coal seams to appease your flavour-of-the-month diet is difficult to understand.
My most recent encounter with the food-Nazi friend who is allergic to eggs that look like eggs (but not those in cakes or puddings) saw her offer me, in succession, black garlic, and the KKK nightmare - the evil triad consisting of kombucha, kefir and kale (not in the same dish, you understand).
Now, black garlic I can deal with, in small doses, but there are consequences of a "socially awkward” (ahem) nature.
The fermented goodies that followed I have tried, but fail to enjoy; possibly because once, in a fit of need-to-know, I Googled SCOBY.
For those of you who are not aware, SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, and it's what kombucha is made from.
I advise you to not follow my example unless you want to have Alien-inspired nightmares for the rest of time - but I can virtually guarantee you'll never drink kombucha if you do.
And yes, I know it's meant to be a very beneficial beverage, but ... And kefir? Fermented milk. Need I say more.
Kale, I've learned, is best prepared by giving it a light coating of extra virgin olive oil; this makes it super-easy to scrape off your plate into the compost pile.
All these dietary fads are well and good, but the consequences of adopting a new food in the Western diet can be far reaching.
Take quinoa, for example. The new-found popularity of that darling of the hipster foodie set has resulted in those cultures that have been growing, eating and relying on it for centuries now being unable to afford it. Think about that the next time you force some down your gullet.
As for the vegan friends? I asked what they eat in a typical day so I could be prepared, and on the (short) list was SEAFOOD.