Taking a bite out of life

To the editor:   Daniel Akst puts an entirely new spin on the notion of taking a bite out of life. Instead of a nutritious, delicious and thorough session of sit-down dining and togetherness, we are quickly becoming a culture of lone wolves seeking quick snacks and fast foods.   ( "The snackification of everything," Opinion, Dec.21)

Sadly, this phenomenon of instant gratification and isolation is bleeding over into many of our daily endeavors. Not only are we what we eat; we are also the way we eat.


Ben Miles,  Huntington Beach

To the editor: Akst bemoans the snackification of America as if it is a recent phenomenon. Has he forgotten that 45s preceded the album's popularity by a good decade?

And does he not know the history of the media he writes for? Newspapers were one of the first outlets to snackify their content by using headlines and the inverted pyramid style of writing to highlight the main points of the stories, making it easy for readers to quickly scan the pages.

Snacks don't just constitute a gluttonous hit-and-run experience — they allow us to savor a small sample before committing our time, dollar, ear, or palate to that which we'd rather not digest.

Sean Ziebarth, Fountain Valley

To the editor: Akst's humorous yet astute essay notes a disturbing trend.

With food for reflective thought increasingly giving way to morsels for mindless distraction, history provides a lesson: Recall how ancient Rome induced the masses to snack on bread and circuses. How'd that work out?

Our contemporary bread and circuses encompass more than dumbed-down periodicals. Consider the proliferation of titillating reality TV, banal talk shows, soft news/infotainment, and trifling Internet click bait. Precious little mental nourishment in these snacks.

Rome's example speaks to how constantly diverted masses are easily manipulated. Eating snacks may be bad for one's health.

But where snackification moves beyond food, the very health of our democracy suffers.

Gloria Martel,  Los Angeles

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