Tiburón -Shark- Žralok

Tiburón -Shark- Žralok: Writing Cooking Traveling

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Food Nazi

Yesterday I engaged my family in a mini-WWIII. As a card carrying CSA member and vegetarian who makes exceptions for humanely raised meat, I'm firmly anti-processed foods and I've joined the party seeking to eliminate them from the face of the earth. Stepping off the plane in my knee-high boots and black coat, venturing into my Burger King obsessed homeland with unusually straight posture, the food nazi in me decide it was game on.

I stormed my parent's house like the Gestapo, proclaiming everything in their fridge an offense punishable by death-- I'm not exactly exaggerating since processed ham and cheese products, "Whole Wheat White" bread, and sugary box cereals are in fact killing the US... but I digress.

But my Dad, the Winston Churchill of daily meat intake and ice cream doused with cognac, armed a defensive strike against my blitzkrieg by making fun of me and shaking his head while laughing at my young, hippie ways. The processed ham would stay. The family fridge officially became Poland.

But like any Nazi, I'm also a hypocrite. It was then MY idea to go to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate my return home. In a way, that little gesture was like handing a small child a handgun and telling him not to play with it. Few good things come of this. But the real problem wasn't the margaritas or the endless supply of chips or the two orders of queso fundido, one with chorizo and one with jalapeños for my benefit, or the completely unnecessary main courses we ordered after. The problem, as far as the Allied forces of my parents, aunt, and best friend, M, were concerned, was me.

The Allies pushed in on me like endless streams of Russians across the Eastern Border, making fun of my plans to wipe the fridge clean and start over with produce. I fired back with all I had, citing studies, statistics, personal experience. All the while a lump of greasy, melted cheese sat in my stomach besides two beers like Hitler's Jewish heritage. By the time the vegetarian fajitas arrived, I knew I was in my bunker and surrendered. Nazism is no way to win a war, as history will tell you.

After I saw the err of my ways, M and I conducted some quick Nuremberg Trials on my methods. She had been the Stalin to my Hitler, secretly knowing the longevity of a brutal dictatorship while denouncing mine. What that metaphor means is: she had also read the articles, seen the documentaries, hell, she had even ordered a vegetarian entree, but rather than force her habits, her ideas of right and wrong eating onto others at the risk of being a hypocrite if she broke them, she accepted people as they were and just made her own choices. As a former New Yorker, I find that hard to do, because how will everyone else know that they're idiots if you don't tell them? Well, explained M, that's precisely the problem. Telling people that they're idiots and that they must do as you do will only make them turn on you, despite your good intentions.

So I've laid down my weapons. Today I will stock up on me-friendly groceries which my parents are welcomed to but my days of preaching and blitzkrieging are over. I now live in late 1940's Berlin when the British, French, Russians, and Americans each occupied a part of the city and there were checkpoints... OK, I may have taken this too far. But you get the picture.


  1. I like that your dad puts cognac on his ice cream. My dad puts anisette on his.

  2. My grandma puts Frangelico on hers.

  3. I put pernod in my absinthe... ice cream.