Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Worship the Almighty Flying Orange Monster

Forget spaghetti! Bring in the orange!

(props to Jimmy over at Livin' La Vida Low-Carb)

I'd like to deconstruct the above image. It's part of the header and used repeatedly on the website, which is run by a bunch of Vegan-not-really-called-vegan-call-it-Nutritarian idiots. Maybe the uneducated and/or unaware would look at this image and think nothing of it. Maybe they'd think it promotes good health, or fitness, etc. But I've had one too many classes in art history, and I never look at a picture as just a picture. Every picture has a meaning behind it, this is especially true of marketing images, and this one is no different.

For starters, this picture is full of religious iconography. Did the people who created this website do that on purpose? Maybe they weren't aware that they did. In the image we have a woman, in white, worshiping an orange. Yes, that is what that image says. She has her hands raised in adulation/adoration, just as many evangelical Christians might do during a sermon. She's wearing white, the color of innocence and purity. The orange is meant to represent the sun obviously, and what's better than sun worship? Many ancient cultures worshiped the sun, so there you have it. Even the tag line hearkens back to religion, as being a "life-changing" thing, or bringing you a "new life." In this case, your current life isn't "whole" enough.

This isn't done by accident typically. I mean, sure sometimes designers may accidentally associate something with something else and it's completely unintentional (or maybe they just claim it is to avoid the backlash). But most designers have had some art history, and they're typically not just throwing images together laissez-faire.

I have said before that a good deal of people treat diet as a religion. This was what Dr. Oz did when Taubes was on his show, repeatedly calling food "sacred." Food is not sacred. Neither is any diet (although I suppose one could argue it is if it is part of your religion, like in the case of the Hindus). I also think it's ridiculous that what I'm putting in my mouth gets some people as riled up as talking religion or politics.

Anyway, about the Eat Right America site. I put in my information. I couldn't remember my exact numbers for the blood tests (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) from when I was at the doctor last but I know they were all normal, so I put in something close to normal. What did their stupid form tell me? I'm at extremely high risk for all kinds of death and destruction! zOMG, what ever will I do? I'm at risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes(!) and all manner of ills.

My diet is on the right pie chart. The processed food must be bacon, because I don't eat anything else that could be considered "processed." I don't eat sugar, I don't eat out. I rarely eat any meal outside the house, low-carb or no. So, how did they determine that my health and diet are "poor"? Because I eat meat and dairy. In fact that's primarily what I eat, and yet I'm perfectly healthy. Indeed, I feel better than I have felt ever before in my life.

These people would be so much better served if they attacked what is wrong with most peoples' diets, which is excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup (and the fact that it's added to everything and used to replace fat). Instead, they quote studies that support what they want to promote, which is that animal products are bad for you.

They say at the end of my report:
"Of course, there are some ingredients that must be eliminated from your pantry. Salt needs to be avoided, even though we are used to adding it when we cook, and using a shaker on the table at meal time. Luckily, it takes only 1 week for your taste buds to recover from excess sodium. After that, the natural occurring sodium in food will be enough to tantalize your taste buds.

Oil is another ingredient that can easily be cut dramatically, or eliminated, without robbing your dishes of flavor or texture. You can sauté with water, or a little vinegar, or just let the ingredient release it's own liquid by slowly cooking with the top on your pan. You will be amazed at how quickly you will forget that oil and salt were ever essential ingredients.

Meat must become something special, never the main dish. Occasionally, reasonable portions of chicken or fish, 4 oz or less, will satisfy that craving, as long as vegetables remain the centerpiece of the meal. This is another one you will be shocked at- because today's focus on meat will change quickly, and you and your family will be amazed that meat "used to be" a daily essential. Another revelation will center on soy " meat " substitutes... Even lifelong carnivores won't feel deprived." [emphasis mine]

Thank you, but I don't think I'll be taking any cooking tips from vegans. Or worshiping oranges for that matter. Hell will freeze over first.

"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." --Anthony Bourdain

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