Alex Beam, defending cultural orthodoxy

Alex Beam, columnist for the Boston Globe, is not only a friend and former colleague, but one of the only columnists I've followed over time because he's deft at carving out niches that others never conceive.

But in his nutrition niche, he's not nearly as counterintuitive as he strives to be. He is a clueless wanker, repeatedly and again, just like everyone else.

This morning, he mocks Tom Brady and his personal chef, who says, "Sugar is the death of people," and keeps certain vegetables away from Brady because they're not antiinflammatory. As you know, I'm all-frickin'-in on the former; I may have to investigate the latter, though I'd be sad to give up eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms. 

It's Beam's lead evidence in "the prissification of the modern athlete." Yes, Alex, that's what we need to cut down on, athletes who value nutrition, rest, and literature instead of attending to their killing, maiming, and wife-beating.

Beam has somehow missed the truth that disdain for nutrition is as mainstream as apple pie with ice cream on top. In this column, and this one, and this one, and this one, and more, Beam takes on those who threaten food orthodoxy. He exemplifies my maxim that most people regard junk food as fun and think nutrition is for sissies.

In this world, food stands in as love, as entertainment, as culture, and there's nothing wrong with those — as long as they don't trump what food was before we piled all these other meanings onto it. For all beings on earth, food constitutes our physical selves, so our food choices actually matter, instead of being only a matter of what tastes good.

I bet Brady cares how foods taste, too. But perhaps a good part of his unparalleled success — at such an advanced age in an industry predicated of physical ability — owes to his choosing foods that build strong bodies, while also tasting good.

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