Going green

Msafiri’s regular columnist Jackson Biko wonders if loyalty to his wife means eating like a rabbit?

Here is a question: When the lady of the manor decides to lose weight (a great thing), do we – as men – have to show our support by eating rabbit food as well?  The other day I opened the fridge to make a meal but found nothing to eat. OK, there were eggs and vegetables and carrots and yoghurt – lots and lots of plain yoghurt – and some chicken that looked like it needed a tan and a boxful of something that looked like biscuits (it could have been anything, at this rate). But these items can’t be classified as food, can they? All the sausages were gone, so was the beef. Sad, sad, day.

So I asked the lady of the manor what happened to all the food and she said, “We have been eating very unhealthily, it’s time we reevaluated our diet.” (Meaning: ‘I’m on a quest to lose some weight, and by Jove, you will all follow’). I didn’t think ‘reevaluation’ actually meant introducing a Gestapo-like diet. Since then I haven’t seen red meat in the house. Or sugar. Anything fizzy. Or anything that is deemed to be unhealthy or cancerous – which basically means anything that tastes like real food. Instead, everybody has to contend with all these crunchy substances and ghastly looking liquids (read, vegetable juice) that turn your stomach green.

Although I am happy to support her in this quest I am distraught from nibbling on all the carrots. On some days I question this newfound nirvana, this path marked by inedible foods and a lifestyle that befits a small indigenous tribe in the Congo forest.

I read that natural foods are supposed to make us happier. That they make our skin glow with happiness. But the lady of the manor is miserable. You should see her face as she nibbles on those finger foods and meticulously chews on them for 2000 times before she swallows (“You should chew your food thoroughly, helps with digestion,” she mumbles.). I bet it hurts her jaws. She weighs virtually everything that she cooks and eats. She even eats brown rice. Don’t even get me started on the brown rice. Brown rice tastes like rubber when you cook it with salt and cooking oil, but if you boil it with only water – like she does – it tastes like printer toner.

Good food lights up the house. It makes everybody happy. Brings colour to faces. The house is livelier when you eat like normal people, not Olympic mutants. So-called ‘healthy food’ makes everybody hate eating (and resent their partners… privately). I can also report that healthy food causes insomnia. I don’t sleep well now. I dream of being chased by cows, which I think is my body’s way of telling me that it is nyama choma deficient. I want my red meat. Red meat makes me sleep well at night.