There's been a movement over the last few years to refine the palates of the populace.
Principal players in this plot like Gordan Ramsey, Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver and shows like Iron Chef have overhauled the image of the grizzled gastronomist into the rugged alpha-male rockstar, creating refined cuisine meant to seduce and inspire awe, all with a nagging sense that whatever they feed you makes you a better person. The trickle down effect has meant a marked shift in even the most base of fast food and family restaurants' menus where healthy alternatives have quietly replaced the goulash of fried delights.
For the touring band this works in their favour. I don't know how many times on the road our only option for miles around was a McDonald's restaurant. We've all heard the jokes and the rumors, but before Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me documentary, which acted as an atomic bomb to the Golden Arches, their monopoly on food served fast made them unavoidable for hard-travelling rockers. These days, though, there are leafy replacements, grilled substitutes and calorie-counting alternatives for the lowly band driving around in their van.
Still, despite this ongoing food revolution, I can't help but whine about the fallout. When Nirvana decimated the musical landscape and ushered in the alternative '90s, what seemed at first like a music renaissance only left a residue of bands like Puddle of Mudd and Days of the New in the aftermath. Much in the way Nirvana begat Puddle of Mudd, these top chefs of the food renaissance have brought with them a new sub-group of preening, self-important windbags. I'm referring, of course, to people who call themselves "foodies."
"Foodies" are people who feel the need to distinguish themselves from the rest of us who eat food. Haven't met one yet? I'm sure you have. These are the people who, when invited to your dinner party, can't help but loudly lament why you chose to serve Doritos as snacks rather than a brand of "organic," "bio-dynamic," "low-fat" pork rinds only they know about. They'll also announce, later in the evening, that they don't own a television set even though no one asked. In other words, they're assholes.
Hey, I enjoy an excellent meal at fine dining establishments like the next person. Time on the road that I used to spend hunting down record stores has now shifted to hunting down outstanding restaurants what with the Internet and free mp3s and such. But much like how my iPod sports both the last Katy Perry and new Godspeed You Black Emperor records, I can't help but defend hunting down a greasy pizza joint for a meal after a hard day's night. It's the foodie's need to distinguish him or herself from the rest us -- the ones that wouldn't dare go in for a late-night pizza slice -- that sticks in my craw.
We live in a world where there's almost a billion hungry people. Festooning oneself with the tag of "foodie" is a perfect example of first world arrogance. I'm just waiting until these foodies figure out a way to flaunt breathing air or taking a shit better than the rest of us. Because they're the type of people who'd do something like that. It'll probably involve wiping one's ass on sheets with a 618 thread count or Papally-blessed wet naps.
It all just makes me crave a Big Mac combo with an apple pie and a triple mocha almond fudge sundae. Which I will enjoy without guilt.