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Davis, California

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Variations on a Theme

It’s probably due to the fact that my roommate Shlarissa has gotten me hooked on the showIntervention, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how easy it is to fall into bad habits.

I’ve spoken before of the brilliance of technology as it allows people to indulge in their dirty habits: online shopping, celebrity gossip, downloading (I mean,acquiring) leaked musicyou name it, it’s there.

Being the Literal Lucy I am, I use such mediums to actually feed into my dirty habit. I’ll go ahead and admit it: My name is Rachel, and I’m a food junkie.

I knew my habit was bad when I began looking through page after page of posts on a website called thisiswhyyourefat.com.

Photos of a corndog encased in French fries, pizza topped with gravy, Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers, deep-fried everything and a monster of a creation called a Turbaconucken (a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, all wrapped in bacon).

It started out innocently enough. I was young, bored and impressionable the summer my intense appreciation for food began. The Food Network was my gateway drug: I’d spend two 30-minute sets with Rachael Ray in the mornings, quick and easy. In the afternoons, I had Giada de Laurentiis withEveryday Italian, quality time with Ina Garten onThe Barefoot Contessa and some home cooking with Paula Deen.

After getting frustrated that I couldn’t actually produce my own culinary masterpieces, I moved on. I figured that if I couldn’t cook, I could at least eator rather, watch people eat. Travel Channel allowed me to visit the best places to pig out, cheer in the sidelines of food eating competitions and travel with a chef-turned-writer by the name of Anthony Bourdain to places like France, Iceland and Malaysia.

When I got tired of his chain-smoking, drinking and surly attitude, I befriended Andrew Zimmern, another chef-slash-writer (hey, I guess I have a type). I watched as he chomped down on Balut in the Philippines, sampled stinky tofu in Taiwan and crunched down on chapulines in Mexico. And don’t even get me started on the episode where Bourdain and Zimmern teamed up to tackle New York City.

When I wasn’t getting my fixin’s from the TV, I turned to the Internet.

The photo-hosting site Flickr.com was my main medium. I soon found myself drooling over high-resolution images of decadent cupcakes, artfully arranged pasta dishes and other visually appealing gastronomic conquests.

Of course, I felt the need for something a bit more substantial than just mere photos of foodyou know, since I couldn’t bring myself to actually cook, God forbid. So I found more intellectually stimulating content with the A.V. Club’sTaste Test feature, where staffers sampled some more eccentric fare, from the mayo-bacon hybrid Baconnaise and the outlandish flavors of different Japanese Kit-Kats to jalapeno-flavored pickle-juice shooters and the culinary ale Pizza Beer.

I finally realized my need for food detox after I discovered theThat’s Why You’re Fatwebsite, when I began to have fat-laden dreams of buttering up bacon and bacon-ing up sausageutterly sinful to my vegetarian diet.

However, I can’t help but think that I have possibly the most useless addiction ever. Most of the food fare isn’t veggie-friendly, I don’t cook, my grocery list hasn’t gotten any more sophisticated and I still find myself feasting on leftovers from Taqueria Guadalajara.

 

RACHEL FILIPINAS has post-graduation plans to host her own vegetarian cuisine show on the Travel Channel. Send her suggestions of places to visit at rmfilipinas@ucdavis.edu.

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