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Food as a Fad or Cult.
Food has often found a niche for itself in popular culture. Eating or entertaining with certain foods has often been a fad or cult. Whichever group you associate with or aspire to be like will dictate which fad you follow. For example, in the late “70s and 80s in the U.S., salads were the “in” food for the yuppie crowd (the young, upwardly-mobile group). Salad bars (restaurants where salad is the primary food) sprang up everywhere. There were so many types of salads, garnishes, and salad dressings that were invented, it was impossible to keep up with them all.
Of course many people ate salads because they were on diets. Thin was “in” and so everyone who was “in” or aspiring to be “in” wanted to lose weight. Actually, throughout most of the ’80s and 90s there has been an obsession with dieting. Now, however, dietingis not a politically correct word. There are so many schemes and foods out in the stores for people to use lose weight; there are even substances that promise if you take them you can eat all you want and still lose weight.
Aside form diets and salads, there are the foods that people eat because their favorite athlete, musician, or actor eats that brand or kind for food. The cultural icons over the last several years have been exploited to promote the sale of different foods or food substitutes. Whatever Michael Jordan, Mel Gibson, or Oprah Winfrey drink and eat, the ardent fans, wannabes and admirers worldwide try to eat and drink. People don’t always pay attention to how truly nutritious something is; if the in-crowed or the cultural icon they aspire to be like eat it, they will get it. Pop culture is a powerful force.