Is it true nobody eats at the Sacramento State Fair for the purpose of holistic health nutrition any more than you’d go to an amusement park sideshow for counseling about your insecurities? Has food been divided by the media into masculine and feminine concepts? Could the idea be that when it comes to food choice, masculine equals exotic and connected unconsciously to the primeval group hunt and feminine focuses on nutritional redemption through seeking healing tones, moods, and textures in comfort foods?
This year’s Sacramento State Fair also has vendors selling falafel, grilled vegetables, corn roasted in the husks, and other foods considered healthy. But what does the mainstream media cover in depth? It’s the alligator meat and other exotic foods, turning fun food into a sideshow. But isn’t that what amusement parks and fairs are supposed to have–lots of sideshow attractions such as exotic food as entertainment? You have this year’s theme as a bug exhibit. So voilà, you serve insects and alligator meat and well, go prehistoric in food attractions, but not in all the attractions. And the exotic is fun. If it’s deep-fried, the customers will line up. But few ask in what the food is deep-fried. The amusement is in the exotic.
Is eating fried bugs, lizards, and snakes about showing how daring, brave, and manly you can be eating survival foods–as in the ice-age hunting experience? Sacramentans seem to be more comfortable with sampling exotic foods now that so many TV shows feature bizarre and quirky food and travel experiences showing people in other countries comfortable with eating insects, guinea pigs, and other foods not usually found in most Sacramento supermarkets.
What are little boys made of? The nursery rhyme says, “What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails. That’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’ what little girls are made of.” This seems to be playing out at some State Fairs where the more exotic the foods, the more masculine they appear to be when appealing to the public, associated with survival in the face of fear, bravery, and exotic, as in exotic food as entertainment rather than the concept of the snake, lizard, maggot, or rodent hunt to bring the best cuts of meat home to family in the hopes of being rewarded by the prettiest daughter as bride, circa 20,000 BCE.
Are you being pushed too far out of your comfort level for Sacramento’s new trend in exotic food? Did you run out of food to deep fry so you turned to insects? After all, people in certain parts of the country do eat squirrel and raccoon. It’s masculine to eat rodents, maggots, and insects. That’s the real reason for eating what some indigenous people eat in isolated places. It’s caveman food. The point is the exotic fair food is masculine. You take off your corset of plant-based foods and spread your body to take up more space.
Shows such as “No Reservations” delights in showing people eating bone marrow. At the Sacramento State Fair, the booths that sell raccoons and pythons and insects have met health standards set by the USDA and the FDA. The county has determined that all are from approved sources and fit for human consumption. When you eat at the fair is it for entertainment, spectacle, and for the sake of experiencing the exotic?
Or are you eating deep fried food just for fun? Or are you eating because you think it’s more masculine to eat foods featured on TV food and travel shows seen in Sacramento such as “Survivor,” “Fear Factor,” “No Reservations,” “Man versus. Food,” and “Bizarre Foods?” On the other hand, do you enjoy eating ‘feminine’ by watching vegetarian-oriented shows on Veria TV such as “What’s Brewing?” See the TV program, Veria: Healthy Living|Holistic Health & Wellness|Alternative Medicine. On Veria TV, you can learn about the Ayurvedic approach to healthy eating. The TV program on channel 218 in Sacramento (Dish Satellite Network) also offers dietary recommendations based on your Body-Mind type, or Dosha. Take the Dosha quiz to learn whether you’re Pitta, Kapha or Vata, and start eating healthier today.
Exotic foods often draws youth who still feel more invincible by large portion size than the average great grand parent (my generation of people who are like me, in the age 70-80 range, often eating easier-to-digest comfort foods sometimes avoided by youth). Also see, Sacramento – Man v. Food – Travel Channel.
It’s the masculine thing to do such as eating large portions, termites, maggots, lizards, snakes, raccoons, and similar foods. It’s part of the hunter mentality. If it’s slower and dumber than you, pass the salt, as has been said on shows such as “No Reservations.” It’s modern youth’s way of going hunting for grubs, termites, ants, and spiders, and repeats what took place during the ice age when that’s what was available protein. It’s also about getting back to nature and the hunt and sampling exotic food as entertainment because people in a variety of isolated areas or third world countries still eat those foods daily. For example, people see shows such as “Survivor” and “Bizarre Foods.”
You visit New Guinea, for example and live with families, and soon you, too will be hunting the river’s edge for rats, with the indigenous residents. But do Sacramentans want to really eat high or low on the food chain for health? And is fun separated from health when you want to experience the exotic? Can fun be healthy and still be pleasurable? Why aren’t more comfort foods served at fairs in general?
Sacramento’s food preferences may have been presented as a spectacle, side show, or freak circus of edible bizarre, exotic entertainment. Since food has become entertainment and is supposed to be fun. But are we having fun yet with the freak show, the spectacle, the side show presented as entertainment? It is making a lot of money. And what fueled this behavior is the TV food shows emphasizing large portion sizes of foods that are not seen as ladylike, dainty, kosher, or halal.
Remember a few years ago you could get deep fried artichokes, zucchini, and other plant-based foods? But you would never see something without fat such as steamed vegetables and brown rice. In fact, the vegetarian booth a few years ago didn’t do so well because they weren’t serving hearty fish stews or thick, chunky, not overly salted soup and salad with home-made type breads made of whole grain or legume flourless breads. They were serving veggie burgers.
At a fair where people want fun food, it has to fill you up with nourishing, steamed foods, not cause acid reflux. But who goes to the fair? Mostly young people. And on senior citizen days, does the food menu change to steamed foods and vegetables suitable for those whose age has diminished most digestive enzymes? No. You’ll still be eating barbeque with beans so salty, it will burn the mouth of an older adult on a low-salt diet for salt sensitivity and hypertension. What can you eat if you’re too old to digest the fried food at the fair? Eat before you arrive.
This decade food is subconsciously being sold as masculine or feminine psychologically to get people to spend more on trying the exotic. It’s in the name of trying just anything once for the entertainment value, and food has become more exotic for its shock value. Last decade you had deep fried butter, ice cream, candy, and peanut butter sandwiches. This decade it’s deep fried exotic foods that are commonly eaten in other countries. What’s missing are the more nourishing exotic foods such as buffalo burgers, kangaroo burgers, and lean reindeer meats. Those animal foods are healthier. Instead, what you see in Sacramento are fried insects, snakes, raccoons, and maggots.
Sacramento is being told quirky food is entertainment, not upscale nourishment and that fun is now defined as exotic entertainment which also is pushed by TV food shows taking the place of travel shows where the food eaten is exotic and bizarre. And the more exotic and bizarre, the more masculine the food becomes. To be a real man, you have to experience shows like Man Versus Food, where portion size is large. Or experience TV food shows that have taken the place of travel and adventure with programs such as the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods and No Reservations.
Foods for entertainment are divided into masculine and feminine concepts with deep fried, BBQ, and large portion size being equated sometimes with living large or having large body proportions or preferring them which is masculine. The opposite, feminine when it comes to food focuses on smaller portion size, caloric restriction, plant-based foods, and steamed rather than deep-fried.
What used to be travel shows focused on art museums and quaint shops has now been replaced by eating Paleolithic style, with bugs, snakes, scorpions, maggots, lizards, larvae, grubs, termites, raw liver, raw animal protein, and other foods that prehistoric people ate during and before the last ice age–foods still eaten now in third world countries because well, protein is protein. Exotic now is fun and entertainment. And most of all–more masculine than eating plant-based.
Most people go to the Sacramento State Fair to have fun and see the exotic. But food has become a freak show form of entertainment for some daring people who eat bugs simply because bugs are eaten in other countries, for example Mexico, Asia, and Sardinia. France is known for its snails and frogs legs, and the Arabian Peninsula is known for eating lizards as well as camels along with standard foods such as lamb and rice.
Is food entertainment only because the masculine and feminine has been separated by TV food shows? Masculine sometimes means eating exotic, bizarre foods ranging from insects, snakes, lizards, frogs, snails, brains, dangerous or poisonous fish (in Japan, for example) and feminine focuses on eating plant-based foods such as seen on those cooking vegan episodes, which is sometimes shown on Veria TV, channel 218 Dish Satellite, in Sacramento.
Check out the July 17, 2011 Sacramento Bee article by Cynthia Hubert, “Corn dogs get some very curious company.” Deep-fried exotic foods are being sold as entertainment, another way to get people to spend money and tell them it’s fun food. It’s like someone is telling you that you are supposed to be amused with fun food when you really want food that makes you feel a sense of well-being. Is food fun and entertainment the more exotic?
In Sardinia, fun food is that soft, beige natural ammonia-scented maggot cheese. It’s called casu marzu. See the site, Maggot cheese, or Casu Marzu, is a traditional Sardinian cheese. You can see a photo of this creamy-like cheese on Facebook. Check out Casu Marzu “The Sardinian Flower” Maggot Cheese | Facebook.
Want more information? According to its Wikipedia site, Casu marzu (also called casu modde, casu cundhídu in Sardinian language, or in Italian formaggio marcio, “rotten cheese”) is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese, notable for being riddled with live insect larvae. It is found mainly in Sardinia, Italy.
Derived from Pecorino, casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation to a stage most would consider decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese’s fats.
The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called lagrima, from the Sardinian for “tears”) seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as translucent white worms, about 8 millimeters (0.3 in) long. When disturbed, the larvae can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in). Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming; others do not. Watch out because the larvae tends to jump right into your eyes as you bend your mouth over the cheese.
The closest this concept of food as entertainment comes to Sacramento in the State Fair is in other ways to serve maggots. In this instance fried in a way that tastes like burgers. If you attend the Sacramento State Fair, you can sample a maggot melt sandwich at Jungle George’s Exotic Meats and Bugs booth at the State Fair. Since food has now become entertainment, you can eat that maggot melt sandwich. Or you can try some deep fried python, raccoon, and beaver meat. Or simply eat some frogs legs.
Yes, food is now entertainment and fun. And if you protest, chances are your freedom of speech will be deep fried as well as some person who despises those who tout eating more produce subscribes your email address to a hunting, fishing, and gun online magazine. If you protest verbally, you’ll only be rewarded by more of the same. So the only action someone can take is to ponder why the rage against age.
After all, when a great grandma prefers a bowl of vegetable stew or grilled fish sandwich, the reminder is that the present decade is devoted to food as entertainment and exotic ways to have fun. But are we all having fun yet? The theme at this year’s state fair is the bug exhibits. Most everyone needs a comfortable source of some protein. So enjoy the food where you are happiest.
Check out all my joltleft.com columns
National Children’s Nutrition Examiner
National One-Pot Meals Examiner
Sacramento Nutrition Examiner
Sacramento Healthy Trends Examiner
Sacramento Women’s Issues Examiner
Sacramento Media & Culture Examiner
Sacramento Green Health Examiner
Sacramento Holistic Family Health Examiner
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