I have met these guys. In fact, these days they seem to be everywhere. From beer to butter, fruit juice, cereal and coffee, every morsel of food that hits your plate has undergone a sort of academic authentication that sometimes verges on the ridiculous. I suppose this small batch, certified hipster, save the world, locavore craze is nothing but an example of the pendulum effect: food had been so removed from its origins, so mediated by big factories that everyone ran into the woods with their hair on fire foraging for mushrooms and herbs. The point that gets lost in the shuffle, is that one extreme begets another…and extremes are always absurd.

I understand the bigger implications of mass produced, low quality food. I also recognize that a $20 dollar pint size jar of peanut butter is a rip off even if it is made of African peanuts, ground by hand, salted with Himalayan salt and spooned into the containers by Belgian nuns. It might be cool but it is not, by definition, any better than the organic peanut butter I grind myself at home in my trusty Cuisinart.

I have never been a professional band wagon jumper and I instinctively shy away from fads and prophets. What goes up, usually comes down…with a loud crash.

My suggestion to you is to stick to some tried and true strategies: buy food that looks like something your great grandparents would have recognized. Buy it organic and local whenever possible. Cook often. Enjoy modern sanitation and the technology that makes our food supply safer. Moderate the purchase of fashionable, yet superfluous, food items that claim to be endowed with superhero powers…and if nothing else, exercise some common sense at the market by not giving in to that outrageously priced item you have been eying in aisle 3. Your friends might think you are one cool guy, but it will make it so much more difficult for someone else without your disposable income to buy the same food at a reasonable price point.