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The Recovering Foodie

Look, we all love food. It’s what keeps us alive. But a certain thing can happen when a person gets immersed in the lifestyle and trends that surround food. Something that can affect a person’s life, relationships, and work. Yes — brace yourself — we are talking about when someone you love (or maybe even you) has become a foodie.

We all know the signs: A friend floods her social media feeds with photos of every meal she eats. Your boyfriend ignores you all weekend because he’s busy making bone broth. Your coworker sends you links to every food rumor she reads online, whether it’s the latest superfood or the new carcinogen. Or maybe you yourself have noticed that your friends’ eyes glaze over when you tell them how superior homemade hummus is to the premade kind and exactly how to make it from scratch.

If all this sounds a little too familiar, it’s time for a foodie intervention. Whether it’s you or a loved one who needs the help, following these 12 steps means that never again will food go cold while a suffering foodie finishes a photoshoot before anyone can eat.

You’ve already completed the hardest step: admitting you have a problem. Maybe you realized it when you spent a full hour choosing an Instagram filter for the photo of your poke bowl, or the moment you cried tears of joy when your food was served on an antique tree stump at that trendy new restaurant. Regardless of how you got here, recovery begins by accepting that you are no longer in control.

Ok, so you know you’ve got a problem. Now you need to be willing to accept outside help — and no, the followers on your ‘FoodieGirl4Life’ Instagram do not count as outside help — to solve it. This support structure will not only provide you emotional aid when you need it but will also give you someone to come clean with about any food-related misdeeds. Feeling embarrassed about that time you stayed up all night arguing with strangers in a Youtube comments section about the virtues of broiling over baking? Well, confessing will help alleviate those well-deserved feelings of shame and regret. Just remember that when choosing a person to confess to, you should focus on someone who was always good at faking interest in your food-culture small talk — as they are proven to be patient listeners

You may think you have the self-control to just read the occasional restaurant review before you eat out, but it’s a slippery slope — the next thing you know you’ll have spent hours writing a review of the new pho place that opened across from your office. “GameofScones” is a very clever Yelp handle, but it’s time to give it up.

Spending significant time and money to make food from scratch that would taste better and be less expensive if you bought it prepared (we’re looking at you, ketchup) defeats the purpose. And no sous vide is going to make you a master chef. There are some foods that are better off bought from the store, and some appliances that are best left unpurchased.

It may be difficult to accept, but not everyone is interested in your expert opinion when it comes to food. In fact, some people may actually get a little bit offended if you interrupt their story about the really good birthday dinner they had with this commentary: “Cute. But if you want some good kimchi, you should try the place over on 9th.”

No matter how much of it you eat, kale will not make you immortal, GMOs won’t turn you into a mutant, and carrageenan does not cause inflammation. Just because a food is trendy or an ingredient is vilified online does not mean that the information is legit. Food bloggers and social media sites are not the most credible sources, so learn to separate food fact from fiction; relying on actual food science will help you make more-informed choices about the foods you eat. And it’ll probably make your meals less stressful.

As a recovering foodie, recognize that there are certain things that really don’t matter. How your mom pronounces quinoa is one of those things. And if seeing the word “hor derves” in this sentence makes you cringe, you may need to repeat this step.

Sure, it’s unquestionably mainstream, and the food may not be totally authentic. And yes, the whole experience feels like a sad parody of fine dining that still somehow empties your wallet — but that’s no reason to be snobbyabout it. Just unwrap that crayon packet for your kids and enjoy your unlimited free breadsticks like everyone else.

Recognize that only you and fellow foodies care that you bought organic eggs from an urban farmer who raises chickens on the rooftop of her Brooklyn apartment building. That’s cool and all, but no one wants to have that in-depth of a conversation about eggs and you also definitely paid too much for said eggs.

This step may include everything from a simple apology to feigning interest in your loved ones’ boring hobbies the way they have feigned interest in yours ( (e.g., unblock your Crossfit friends and hear their stories!) to — when you are finally ready — allowing a loved one to choose the restaurant the next time you go out to eat together.

The only people who actually want to see pictures of your food are other foodies. And even then it’s usually just so they can congratulate themselves on how much better their own food photos look. Break the cycle! Keeping your fork in your hand and your phone in your pocket is a big step on the path to foodie recovery.

As you progress along the road to recovery, share what you have learned with others. Watch out for those tell-tale warning signs, and don’t enable suffering foodies with tips for making cauliflower rice or retweeting their post about how vastly superior Himalayan salt is over the standard variety. Being a support for other recovering foodies will ensure that everyone starts enjoying and stops being annoying about food, together.

Food is a big part of life, which is why you should make sure that you know the truth about what’s on your plate. One way is to get to know the ingredients that make up your meals, and when it comes to food safety, always trust reliable science overinflated hype. For example, did you know that carrageenan is one of the most proven and well-documented food ingredients there is? Click here for more on the scientific truth behind carrageenan, and feed your brain with food science facts.