We need a new word to describe a concept missing from English.
Books on food try to distinguish between healthy, fulfilling food grown to sustain and industrial products designed for profit, to entertain your mouth, without regard for your health.
For example, when Michael Pollan’s Food Rules says “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” by food he means not industrial products designed for chewing and swallowing, but not really sustenance.
Marion Nestle’s book Food Politics prompted seeing the need for the new word. Other books face the same challenge—from Michael Gregor and Joel Fuhrman too. I love these authors.
Phrases like “fast food” and “junk food” contain the word food and suggest they have something in common with food. These writers struggle to talk about the industrial products without implying they’re like food when they keep having to use the word food in the phrases.
Just because you can chew something or drink it, swallow it, and not die immediately doesn’t make something food.
I propose the term doof—food spelled backward—to mean industrial products designed to entertain your mouth and for profit without regard for your health.
I played with the acronym POME, for profit-oriented mouth entertainment, or lower-cased so it’s like a word: pome. I prefer doof for its sound, but why not include two words just because they mean the same thing?
I recommend replacing the phrases “junk food,” “fast food,” “snack food,” and the like with doof and pome. Then kids and others won’t confuse them for food.
I recommend avoiding doof and pome.
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