Bad Vegans

The Lempert Report
May 04, 2022

Phil: Talking about updates, social media, all, all this stuff that, that we've talked about with food has become even more important on television now than ever before. I don't know if you've taken a look, I have not. So let me start there, at this series, I believe, I don't know whether it's on HBO. No, it's on Netflix, Bad Vegan, about this story, about this chef and her boyfriend husband that built all these, including Alec Baldwin out of all this money, they then ran, they then got caught by ordering a Domino's pizza. 

Phil: I mean, hello, you know, how stupid can you be? I guess you were smart enough to steal millions of dollars, but stupid enough to get caught because you ordered a pizza with your real name. But with it's interesting to me is not about them. The restaurant was very famous, was called Pure Food and Wine. But the fact that we're really seeing in our culture, especially in our, our TV culture, more of an importance of food than ever before it was cooking shows, it was Julia Child. It was Jacque Papan. I mean, people like that. And then obviously the food network launched some 20 odd years ago, but what I love is some other programs that incorporate food with a message. So for example, in 2007 King of the Hill had an episode called "Raising Steaks" and basically, Hank's hippie acquaintance, Apple Seed, convinces Hank and his family to give the cornucopia co-op a go. 

Phil: Because Hank was very disappointed with the quality of steaks that he got at the Big Box Mega Lo Mart. We've seen on Netflix, another one called Chicago Party Aunt. We're seeing just all kinds of references to food. And, you know, I wonder, I wonder whether or not this is, this is necessarily good. Is it, is it good PR for these programs to either make fun of stores or food? And what's the impact as it relates to people's perception about health now in the, in the case of Bad Vegan, what we're hearing and what we're seeing on social media is people are just saying, oh, these vegans, I mean, they're out there. They're, they're just pushing the envelope. They really don't know, you know, the reality of how people eat. What do you think? 

Sally: Well, full disclosure, I consider myself a hippie when it comes to food. I'll go ahead and say that.

Phil: I consider you a hippie too. 

Sally: Yes. I do. That being said, you know, this idea of making fun of, of hippie food, you know, vegans, vegetarians, healthy eaters, you know, it's been around for a long time and, you know, I don't think it's a big deal for us to laugh about things like that. You remember the Portlandi episode with the couple wanting to know, you know, where the chicken lived, how it lived, everything they could possibly know about the chicken. And it's funny, but what we all our finding is that there is this division. I think that's coming out in social media and happening as a result of this kidding about the, about, these type of food cultures, where we're not looking at health food, from "okay, well, what is, is this good for me? What is the science behind it?" We're looking at it more like this is a social statement, or it's pretentious to feel this way. It's self righteous. You think you're better than me because you are a vegetarian. And I think this is a place where retail dietitians can really come to the rescue and help with that message and take all of that garbage out of the messaging and just, you know, personalizing nutrition for people. So it's not. You have to be this, or you have to be that .

Phil: I'm also concerned about kids. So with Rosalie and Eli and Tony's kids, Tony's boys, you know, when we, and they hear this stuff on TV, you know, what's, their perception is their perception of the hippie vegan food, a positive or negative. And if in fact, they subscribe to that kind of diet and that kind of nutrition does that ostracize them from their friends who still want to eat a big Mac. 

Sally: You know, that's a really good question. And I find it fascinating to see what the food culture is like with my children and their peers. One thing that I'm noticing, and, you know, my kids have a very diverse environment in their schools. So they have some kids that eat a certain way because of religion. And it doesn't, you know, it doesn't mean anything to them. They also see are a generation that is very focused on the planet and, you know, they think the older generations should have taken care of it better. And so, so they are interested in what ways we can eat and farm that have a positive impact on the planet. 

Phil: Yeah. Great. You know, great lesson for all of us to learn.