Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Food porn: We've all been there. We think nothing of whipping out our smart phones to capture a particularly beautiful eggs Benedict at brunch or chilli cheese fries at our favorite food truck. But, it seems the latest foodie trend sets itself apart from the increasingly complex one-upsmanship already present on Instagram. In fact, the latest fad highlights meals that consist of just one ingredient. Monomeals, the term used to describe a dish of one type of raw fruit or veg is the latest hashtag causing a sensation, with over 4,000 pictures uploaded to the app to date.
The fans of this type of diet believe that to eat a dish, regularly or exclusively, consisting of raw fruit or vegetables is to give your gut a break from having to process several different types of food stuff at the same time. They believe that the gut can become overwhelmed by the variety of food types, which leads to food not being properly digested and the possibility of a condition called "leaky gut syndrome" occurring. Sobering stuff. But, as the U.K's National Health Service doesn't formally recognize the connection with eating a varied diet and this condition, what really is the problem with these pictures?
While "taking a break" from your normal diet to enjoy the occasional, extra-simple meal might be fine, a diet comprised exclusively of monomeals would likely not provide you with the full variety of nutrients you need. If a person just eats raw pineapples and vegetables every day, will they be getting the proteins, carbohydrates, and nutrients they need to function? It seems hard to believe so. The Food and Drink Federation claim that the average person needs 45 grammes of protein a day and 270 grammes of carbohydrates a day. How can you get that from watermelons and bananas?
We all need to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables per day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this new phenomenon feels extreme in its pursuit of wellbeing. What do you think? Do you think it's a harmless alternative to all the pics of calorie-laden dishes on Instagram? Or is there something a little more sinister to it? (Buzzfeed)