VegPeace.org → Superfood
Let’s deconstruct the idea of a
superfood. What are the unwritten rules that determine whether something is or is not called a superfood?
A superfood should be:
- Should seem exotic.
- Should come from somewhere far away. The more fossil fuel used to get it here, the better.
- Even better if the faraway place seems really cool and glamorous.
- Should be unfamiliar. Even better if you’ll have to develop a taste for it.
- It helps if it’s something that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider edible.
- A food that someone else’s ancestors ate, especially if they seem way cool.
- It helps if the people in the place the superfood comes from have slightly darker skin than you. But not too dark, superfoods don't usually come from Africa.
- It should be something consumed in small amounts.
- It must be packaged, and have a label declaring it to be a superfood.
- The packaging can be colorful with a graphic of a babe in a leotard, or plain with lots of big words.
- The packaging can be rustic, brown, organic and hand-made, or high-tech looking such as shiny mylar plastic/foil laminate.
- The packaging should be some material that can not be recycled or composted.
- The food should have been extracted, concentrated, freeze-dried, or processed in some way. It's best if an unfamiliar process was used. It doesn’t matter if the process is an ancient one, or something very high-tech.
- If a familiar process was used, such as making tea, it should be called an extract, or an infusion.
- The food should be described using impressive terminology. For instance, the word "electrolytes" is much sexier than the word "minerals". Any boring food that grows in common local dirt can have minerals, but only superfoods that grow in exotic faraway soil can have electrolytes.
- It's great if the food is touted as a "complete protein". The fact that all plants contain all 8 essential amino acids should never be mentioned. The obvious fact that foods are not proteins, foods contain proteins, should remain a trade secret. The fact that humans only need small amounts of protein should be prohibited and never ever mentioned.
- Salt can be a superfood, if it's a funny color, expensive, and if it's claimed to be a great source of minerals. The fact that you would have to eat a bucket full of exotic salt to get any appreciable amount of minerals should remain a trade secret. The facts that plants already contain salt from the soil, that you could easily live healthily your whole life without ever adding salt to food, and that added salt causes you to lose minerals, should remain deep secrets.
A superfood should not be:
- Grown in your own country of residence.
- Something that you can buy at the local Farmer’s Market.
- Anything fresh, unless it's something that must be shipped frozen or refrigerated. The more fossil fuel used to deliver it to you, the better.
- Anything familiar.
- Anything your own ancestors ate.
- Anything that seems ordinary, such as grains that everyone has heard of.
- It helps if it's not a whole food. Extracts are sexier than foods.
- Something unpackaged, that you have to put into a bag yourself.
- A familiar vegetable or fruit. Something that you already know and like, such as apples.
- Something that you can afford to eat in quantity, such as dark green leafy vegetables.
- Anything that you can buy from the bulk bins, such as whole grains.
- Something that you can prepare yourself, such as whole grains.
VegPeace.org © Jordan Rothstein <jordan at vegpeace.org>