By Matthew Yglesias
I. Love. French fries. When I first read Michael Pollan assert that his pet slogan “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” was the answer “to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy” I had this brief fantasy of shifting to an all-fries diet. Then I realized that Pollan is just mistaken. One time I took a train to Belgium on a whim (it helps to already be in France) and discovered to my delight an entire culture based on fries and beer.
That said, Pittsburgh has taken things too far. Not only does the fries-on-sandwich schtick not at all redeem the desperately mediocre Pimtanti sandwiches that PGHers seem to love, but I saw this on a menu my first night in town:
This is madness. I kind of wish it was madness I could blame Pollan for; maybe he’s unleashed a wave of mass insanity in western Pennsylvania such that people now believe that all relatively unprocessed plant matter is healthy. But frankly, I kind of doubt it. Either way, though, he should pay a visit to Pittsburgh and perhaps grow to appreciate the need for some complexity and nuance and nutritional advice.