Is Paleo The New Black?

Here’s a true confession: I watch TED talks for fun. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. They’re live mini-lectures by experts in any field you can imagine: psychology; neurochemistry; sexuality; marine life; pickpocketing. I watch while I’m cooking or dusting the living room, or putting on my makeup for work in the morning. So while everyone on Facebook is talking about the World Cup, or my coworkers are discussing The Bachelor, I’m usually mulling over what Malcolm Gladwell has to say on the subject of how spaghetti sauce changed American marketing.

I find them on YouTube. And lately, what’s been popping up in my “suggested videos” sidebar have been TED talks about diet. There’s one about how eating Paleo will change your health and your body forever. The one right below it is called “Debunking the Paleo Diet.”

I'm tired of hearing about Paleo. It's everywhere. You might say it’s the new black. And if it’s not Paleo, it’s Vegetarian. Or it’s Vegan, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free and Egg-Free. Clearly, what we eat and why we eat it is a topic that fascinates Americans. It’s one of the luxuries of wealth, this ability to be picky about what we consume. I’m pretty sure that Paleo vs. Vegetarian is never discussed with any interest in Third World countries. Paleo is The New Black

Read more: Is Paleo The New Black?

What Strawberries Teach Me

Yesterday, I picked strawberries and made jam.

See how easy I made that sound? No mention of the dripping humidity in the berry fields, or the fact that it was already 85 degrees by 9 o’clock. I didn’t tell you how long and hard I had to hunt for each ripe berry. The picking will be better a week from now, but because of my work schedule, family birthdays, and travel plans, I don’t have a single other day in the next two weeks that I can devote to berry-picking and jam-making. And I’m afraid that if I wait, I’ll miss them. This has happened before, and those years, we’ve ended up eating unsatisfying, store-bought jam. So it was yesterday or never. What Strawberries Taught Me

Also in that concise opening sentence, there is no mention of how I had to stop for sugar and pectin and jar lids afterward, on my way home: how I sidled into the store looking like the very wrath of God: shiny-faced and dripping sweat, in a juice-stained shirt, with a ball cap crammed down over my unwashed hair, praying I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew.

I left out the afternoon hours I spent over a steamy stove, with a 170-degree oven pulsing out heat around my legs; burning my fingers on jam and hot jars, my forearms sticky, my mouth cloyed with sweetness. Meanwhile, the DJ on the radio kept throwing out, like candy from a parade float, cheery comments about what a perfect beach day it was, and how she hoped we were all lounging around on chairs somewhere near the water.

Not that I was bitter.

Read more: What Strawberries Teach Me