Dear Editor: I appreciate Jane Snyder’s article about simplicity (“Rich People Won’t Eat It,” May/June 2016), and I’m sure living in Portlandia would make anyone suspicious of foodies. However, I don’t think she is very knowledgeable about the health effects. Gluten intolerance is a very serious health issue for many people who do not have celiac disease. And there are people who are lactose intolerant. If you’re looking to meet the needs of a diverse group, you don’t have to buy gluten-free bread or dairy substitutes. These tend to be overly processed foods, which is the big problem with our corporate-sponsored food supply. Plant-based meals such as lentil soup, pea soup, salad with oil and vinegar dressing, potatoes and rice are all options for a meal that feeds a large group while also being healthy and meeting most dietary limitations. You can put cheeses or other dressings on the side for those who want them. Buying organic and local may be a little more expensive but has some environmental value. Just because poor people don’t have as many options and are lured by cheap processed foods (or as Michael Pollan calls them, “edible food-like substances”) doesn’t make it a better diet.
– Kate McClellan, Palo Alto Meeting (PYM)