The Indy Guide to Arguing About Food Taxonomy

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Most of us enjoy recreationally posting our opinions online. But an unfortunate few become positively addicted. They may eventually seek the more potent high derived from contrarian opinion-sharing.

These people deserve sympathy. Constantly trying to subvert the imagined expectations of others takes a toll upon the spirit; left untreated, it is almost always terminal. The advanced stage of this ailment is referred to by many names, including: “galaxy brain,” “poster’s disease,” or the dreaded “irony poisoning.”

Simple preventative measures can halt the onset of this state: retain perspective; never assume that because a topic is “in the news,” [i.e. pervasive on your social media feed] you are duty-bound to post about it; and treat the denizens of your timeline with at least as much skepticism as you’d treat a real-life coworker or acquaintance. 

But if you absolutely cannot help yourself—and who among us, etc.—there’s a final safety valve available: confining counterintuitive takes to a single, perfectly innocuous topic.

That topic? The ontology of food items. 

For instance: by 2019, everyone has argued about the nature of the sandwich—whether pizzas are open-faced sandwiches; whether hot dogs are sandwiches of some other kind; whether Pop-Tarts are variants of the calzone or are, rather, a type of ravioli. These are divisive topics that nevertheless bring people together. 

Novelty is essential in any take-mongering sphere, and food taxonomy is no exception. Here are five piping-hot takes, along with a quibble and a rejoinder for each. 

“Beer is a savoury flavour of pop.”

Quibble: The bubbles in beer are generated through the natural process of beer brewing, rather than introduced through artificial carbonation, as is the case with pop.

Rejoinder: It’s like pop in every way that’s salient: carbonated, caloric, bad for the body, expensively advertised.

“Dril’s “Pringles Zero” concept already exists in the form of roasted seaweed.”

Quibble: Roasted seaweed is flat, not curved in the classic Pringles arc, and it doesn’t really crunch.

Rejoinder: Thin, crisp, savoury, salty, and within a hair’s breadth of being calorie-free. Pop them into a can and munch away. Pringles Zero. 

“Zero-calorie Vitaminwater is the rich hypochondriac’s Crystal Light.”

Quibble: Crystal Light comes in dust format while Vitaminwater is a liquid, sold in bottles.

Rejoinder:  Sure, and then you add your own honestly-harvested water to the dust. End product? Indistinguishable from fancy pre-assembled water and flavouring.

“Chutney is just jam that married a baronet.”

Quibble: What does this even mean?

Rejoinder: Chutney is just jam that married a baronet. 

“Granita is a flayed Mr. Freezie.”

Quibble: It hasn’t been “flayed” if it was never in a plastic skin in the first place.

Rejoinder: Everything comes from a plastic skin nowadays. Skin itself is partly plastic nowadays. That isn’t good, but it’s true!

You now possess five seeds of truth and clarity, ready to be scattered across your social media platform of choice. We hope you reap a rich harvest of dopamine as your posts are liked, hate-read, retweeted, and shared. 

Kirsten Morry writes an occasional trivia column for The Independent. She was the first Jeopardy! contestant to be introduced as hailing from Newfoundland and Labrador. Kirsten has also written for The Toast. Follow her on Twitter: @kirstenmorry

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