Stuff White People Eat

If your friends hadn't already emailed you a link to Christian Lander's blog,, certainly you heard about it last month after Lander, an Internet copywriter, landed a $300,000 book deal from Random House to chronicle the tastes of privileged progressives. The site, and presumably the book, (which has been fast-tracked to debut August 12, before everyone loses interest), gives the lowdown on everything from Having Gay Friends to Yoga to Not Having a TV. (A friend who works at a major publishing house told me that within a week of Lander's deal, they received a proposal for Stuff Black People Like --and declined to make an offer.)

I was particularly interested in the food-related ones, which included sushi, breakfast places, coffee, microbreweries and bottles of water (Lander notes that metal water bottles have recently replaced Nalgenes, the previous icon of outdoorsy whiteness, due to concerns about chemicals leaching from plastics).

A common theme seems to be making food choices that reflect social responsibility, openness to diversity, refined taste, and exclusiveness--the more obscure and difficult to acquire, the better. Lander's explanations of the items don't really offer much more to the joke than just naming the fame, but I did think that this section from Being the Only White Person Around was pretty funny.

Many white people will look into the window of an ethnic restaurant to see if there are other white people in there. It is determined to be an acceptable restaurant if the white people in there are accompanied by ethnic friends. But if there is a table occupied entirely by white people, it is deemed unacceptable.

Here are a few other food items that I'd add to the list:


Growing your own organic produce--apartment dwellers are advised to reserve a community garden plot, or at least plant a window herb garden Smoothies--extra points for wheatgrass extracts and antioxident boosters Shopping at ethnic markets--evidence you respect and understand non-white culture

White Castle--just to prove you're not a snob Taquerias--especially ones recommended by Calvin Trillin Uncommon condiments--sriracha, hot mustard, homemade pickles

Artisan cocktails--must involve herbal infusions, artistic garnishes, and a certified "mixologist"