Can We Get Comfy With ‘Comfort Foods?’
Just the mention of the words ‘comfort food’ conjures up an image of a large burger dripping with melted cheese, butter chicken with rich gravy or dollops of different flavoured ice-cream piled up on a cone.
While the concept of ‘comfort foods’ was defined by Jamie Oliver in 2014, we’ve all been guilty of food guilt since childhood. Images of celebrities with their six or eight pack abs take us further on the guilt trip. Albeit of an unsavoury nature, greens are ‘good’ for us, while all other fast food is bad,’ yet irresistible! So, we grunt and sigh. guilt-tripping our way to the newest organic diet. Every single calorie counts because the choices are simple: fit or fat: all or nothing. Since temptation is evil, there can be no room for moderation. Or is there?
Olivers definition of ‘comfort foods’ presents a completely different picture. According to him, comfort foods are those meals that can make you smile and feel happy, loved, safe and secure.’ Some of the obvious images that this definition brings to mind are cheese and macaroni, tries and mayo, pizza and coke, butter and parathas and so on. We grew up eating these foods, associate them with happy times and as a result, we feel we can never go wrong with them. But what about salads and sprouts? Can we ever think of them as tasty meals that can ‘make us feel happy and loved?’
Healthy comfort foods’ are now being promoted by the weight loss industry and this perhaps is the start of a quiet revolution with regard to our perception of various foods. Some top weight management companies promise that their tasty low food products are packed with nutritional goodness. Do note that tasty is the keyword here.
Also. some write-ups on prominent food websites state that, comfort food does not only define roast chicken, slow cooked lamb and mashed potatoes. It can also be comfy dinners of vegetable. fruits and grains that are nutritious as well as healthy.