I love a ridiculously good food trend as much as the next person. Some years ago when all the cool kids started drinking their cocktails out of Grandma’s jam jars, I wanted in.
Like most people I am compelled toward the novel and the next in order to keep my ever dwindling attention span stimulated. Indeed chasing after the novel or the new has been shown to provide us with an endorphin kick and the resulting potential increase in the feeling of happines. Ahh.
So I now occasionally find myself drinking out of new, old (or is it old, new) jam jars.
Then along came the craze featuring next wave doughnuts and cronuts, matcha tea and golden lattes, Kombucha and kefir, kale, coconut water and camel milk. I don’t judge. In fact I basically want in on most food fads.
But the one thing I do not love or long for is the freakshake.
The ridiculous frankenfood freakshake has not and will not pass my lips (yeah, no promises though Ok? I am a food blogger after all.)
Freakshakes take you on a very rapid tour away from mindful eating, slow food and connection with the original food source.
I worked for many years at an eating disorders clinic and I learnt a lot about health related food issues. Food at its extreme, with its focus on form over function can get an awfully firm grip on our psyches and cause all sorts of problems along the way.
So why not try and maintain some concept of thoughtfulness when it comes to food and eating?
In post industrial revolution Western culture we have such an abundance of food available 24/7 which sometimes creates a Veruca Salt style food culture.
I want it now. And I can have it now.
Resulting nutritional benefits mean that our teenagers are taller and often healthier than ever before with lovely long predicted lifespans to match. But it also means that sometimes we take things too far, because we can. So sometimes we pile up 6 months worth of recommended sweet treats, and we stick them on top of a chocolate milkshake full of sugar and then we stand back to adore it. Al hail the freak shake.
The sad side effect of it all is that our taste buds lose track. What was once a sweet, delicious fruit based strawberry flavoured milk drink becomes an overly sweet syrup additive in a milkshake accompanied and drowned out by the heavy hitter; candy.
I have to admit that I do love junk food and food fads and in this post Master Chef 2011 era I have re-created TV dishes as often as the next person.
But I also try and cook and eat a lot of simple food. A carrot has its own simple, sweet, earthy flavour that can be enjoyed even without any extra bling.
So too can the milkshake, a treat in itself with its lashings of ice-cream and syrup. I don’t even mind eating pretzels, or candy or doughnuts or macaroons as pleasurable sweet punctuation points throughout.
But just don’t ask me to eat it all at once, piled and soggy on top of a drink. Then I might just lose perspective and take things to extreme and I freakin hate that.