One Syllable Diet

by William S. Creed

Syllables play a larger part in my food life than they should.

For instance, I’m convinced the fewer syllables the closer one is to nature. For that reason I’ve found eating out can be a problem. The menus are meant to entice with syllabic gymnastics.

One menu item I saw was: Penne Caponata Slow Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini and Squash with Plum Tomatoes and Calamata Olives’


‘Syllables’, from the Greeks, are the phonetic building blocks of words; however, they have taken a turn for the worse with foods. I think they are used in food to impress more than enlighten.

Many years ago food choices were a simple mixture of one and two syllables such as: Meat, bread, roots and fruits. And with these simple choices the body was very healthy and our palettes happy.

When it takes more than two syllables to describe what I am putting in my mouth, it’s time to pause and think it through. When we get into four or more syllables such as enchiladas, asparagus, tagliolini or even cauliflower we obviously need intervention.

My wife thinks I’m nuts.

However, one of my guiding principles to simple syllable food choices insuring consistent happy meals is fewer syllables equal consistency in happy meals If I can be happy with a sandwich, steak, or carrots, which are readily available wherever I go, why should I venture into three syllables which may only be available in certain, and often, distant places?

Obviously, if I have a hankering for quesadilla and none of that is handy, I feel deprived – but if I would like a cheese sandwich, why they’re everywhere and I’ll just gobble away!! The more complex I become in my food choices, the more I am disappointed when I’m deprived.

My wife still thinks I’m nuts.

Clearly, I think we are meant to limit our food intake to simple foods such as: meat, butter, bread, eggs, apples, cake, fish, beans, carrots, fruit, chicken, coffee and corn to name a few. If you want these gourmet ways, make them into sandwich, soup, salad, spreads – or, could roast, fry, stew, scramble and bake them – all simple syllable themselves.

I’m not saying, and don’t intend to intimate that there aren’t good three syllable foods, there are: hamburgers, potatoes, chocolate, tomatoes and cheerios. But, that’s about it. These are the famous, ‘exceptions to the rule’. There are no acceptable four and five syllable foods. Eaters of this many syllables should receive immediate and intensive intervention.

And frankly, the practice of trying to entice two syllable eaters into the dark work of multi-syllabic eating with insidious pictures of beautiful food choices is reprehensible.

Could someone explain this to my wife?

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