The Nadler Effect: Shut Up and Eat

It is becoming harder to pass the salt. Who is available to pass it? It feels like everyone is more concerned with putting their meals on Instagram instead of in their mouths.

Equally important to social media are the accompanying social statements. Before even asking for the salt, we insist on asking what is being salted? A murdered animal, you say? Is it Aquinnah-Farm-to-Table? Did it live a blessed pre-slaughtered life filled with peaceful listening sessions of Vineyard Sound a cappella albums? Was its pasture environmentally watered? Were the farmers certified irrigation experts with health benefits? Full coverage, I presume? We’re talking dental, vision, up-Island life coach, and down-Island yoga sherpa.

Don’t forget the side dishes! Before you lift that salad fork, has a mandatory vegetable audit been performed? Are the vegetables ugly? Please remove all supermodel vegetables from the premises. Sexy vegetables are covered in preservatives. Preservatives belong off-Island where they shall be organically repurposed as polyurethane to preserve Burger Kings and Walmarts.

All of these questions and concerns are valid, noble, and integral for the health of all Islanders. While it might not be possible to silence the noise enough so we can hear ourselves chew again, it would be great if we could find a way to sound less irritating. To not solve this problem is to risk the dire consequence of losing friends and influencing people to unfollow you on Instagram.

A major difficulty seems to be the oversaturation of environmental buzzwords. The grass-feds and pasture-raiseds of the world need a makeover. We need a verbal and written approach to foodie culture that is truly sustainable. Yep, this means slang.

“Farm to table” is too literal. How about something a little more imaginative, like “jaywalking”? “Yo, this chicken that jaywalked from Chilmark is delicious!”

 “Free range” is another term that needs a new look. “Thug lyfe” would be an ideal replacement adjective for these emboldened chickens. Who doesn’t love a Tupac reference with their two eggs any style?  

 “I have Celiac disease” is one of those unfortunate sentences that receives an equal amount of eye rolls as concerned reactions, but what do you expect when you name a disease and decide on silly as the first two syllables? It takes a hardcore Vineyarder to combat this autoimmune disorder. Let’s give them a hardcore phrase to identify themselves. “Sorry, no dinner rolls for me. I’m in the Gluten Protection Program.”

A new food lexicon should help us to finally shut up and eat. Once this happens we’ll just need one more societal invention – an app that locates Instagram-averse people to pass the salt.

Comments (1)

Trina Mascott
Palm Desert. California
Enjoyable column, Charlie. I think we have a bigger percentage of foodie-kooks out here than you have on the Island.
August 6, 2015 - 7:05pm