by Julian Aichholz, HoneyColony Original
From “exotic” and “fresh” to “random” and “foreign,” the descriptions on Chef Gary Campbell’s new celebratory menu sound delightful. At the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood, California, the chef teams with the non-profit Cinefamily to organize an eccentric event to get people off the living room couch and back into the theater. Their treat is a finger-oiling ode to American tastes, and the proceeds directly support the organization. But what’s really behind this food festivity? It seems apparent that The Cinefamily is banking on America’s never-ending celebration of excess for a successful junk food drive. But is this a cultural pillar that Americans want to hold onto forever?
Check out The Cinefamily’s Junk Food Menu
We don’t even need to discuss the fallout from these kinds of events to conclude that excess is bad—no matter the form. Sure it’s fun to let yourself go once in a while. A “panna cotta served with Japanese kit kat crumbles” does sound delicious, as do chocolate covered Pringles. And who doesn’t have sweets and sodas deeply ingrained in them as part of the cinema experience? But these are the kinds of associations that we as a society need to change. I hate to raise a “think of the children” argument against such a “harmless” event, but with obesity rates being what they are, it’s anything but harmless as a whole.
I applaud The Cinefamily for coming up with a funny and creative event to support their cause, but let’s not sugarcoat the issue. While every event planner wants people to show up, this extravagance is a red flag signaling how over-the-top the majority of American eating habits have become and how commonplace sweets and sodas are in our pantries—so much so that serving “Petit Fours, a random assortment of bite sized desserts including delicacies like apple pie Milky Ways and chocolate covered banana Cheetos” is viewed as light and entertaining. When I see vending machines with refrigerated fruits and vegetables on school campuses, I may change my mind.