I do not like junk food

My imminent tour—I get on a plane to California in a matter of hours—has left me contemplating the one bad thing about book tours: junk food. Sometimes while going from school visit to book shop appearance there’s little time for eating and the options available are limited to substances I would rather not eat.1 I does not like the junk food.

I have nothing against anyone else consuming it, but me, I does not want to. My lack of junk food love never used to be a problem back home. But here in the US many people are personally insulted by my dislike of lollies (candy) and McDonalds and soft drinks and fake-cheese flavoured products. I do not like Crispy Creme or Dunkin’ Donuts. They taste like donuts. Donuts do not excite me.

Though I have pretended to like Crispy Creme so as not to offend hosts who were showing them off to me. How could I do otherwise when they were acting like I was about to experience the most delectable culinary sensation of all time? Only to find myself biting into a donut.

I have been made to try many of my friends’ junk food obsessions: Pop Tarts, Twinkies, Snowballs, Cheetos (turns out they’re the USian version of Cheezels and every bit as disgusting), and many others I forget the name of. They all have one thing in common: they’re really really bad. They taste of chemicals and have the texture of Styrofoam. I’m sure my friends enjoy them. And that’s nice for them. But I am no longer going to try another single thing from those particular “food” groups. I don’t care if it’s your favourite thing in the whole world—it ain’t going in my mouth.

I am not insulting you by refusing to eat these vile substances. Really. I am being nice. Cause if I don’t eat them then there’s all the more for you. Enjoy!

And here’s hoping I get to enjoy real food on my tour.

  1. How do I know this? From accompanying Scott on his tour and from hearing tales of other people’s tours. []


  1. Melissa on #

    I am sure any bookstore (any indie bookstore, anyway) would be happy to have something waiting for you when you arrive. At the indie where I worked we always asked the publicity person if there was anything we should have for the author – you should have them get you a salad (or whatever healthier food you prefer). Bookstores want their authors to be happy!

  2. Natalie Hatch on #

    Justine, when I was in the states I couldn’t believe how much sugar was in everything, even the butter and bread had sugar in… weird. I put on 8kgs in 8weeks. Not good, and was soo glad to come home to salty foods, like you I don’t like junk food even though it loves my bottom. Love Mediterranean/savoury foods you can get down at the deli in Stones Corner etc.

  3. lotti on #

    Cheetos/Cheezels ARE disgusting. And donuts taste like…oil.
    I do like McDonalds icecream though. It’s the caramel sauce they put on top. And yes, I do know what they put inside it.

  4. The Scarlet Tree on #

    As an entertainer my father always asked for a selection of sandwiches and fruit at performances. They were always happy to provide that instead of fried foods. Do you have an unhealthy snack food you like to treat yourself with? I am a sucker for dark chocolate coated almonds and sometimes only something salty and full of fat will do.
    But given the chance I would prefer a really good pate and a loaf of nice sourdough with a big hunk of bitey cheese. But hey, who wouldn’t!

  5. Sherwood on #

    le sigh…wish you were coming down here to smog and heat hell. I’d cook you a real meal!

  6. pixelfish on #

    I just moved from the east coast to the west coast, which necessitated a week in the car, and too much eating of Very Bad Food ™ so I totally hear you on the junk food thing. The plus side to that is that I’m so burnt out on the stuff that I doubt I’ll be resorting to it anytime soon to assuage my food cravings. The other plus side is that my new city–Seattle–is crazy-hilly, and I’ve already lost five pounds since I left Boston a week and a half back. (I guess trotting up and down hills all day will do that to you.)

    I hope you can get the delicious Real Food you like….but yeah, it’s tough on the road.

  7. Serafina Zane on #

    I hate donuts. They disgust me.

  8. Karen on #

    Maybe you could carry some snacks you like in your bag? I really enjoy a mix of raw almonds and dried cranberries. If your publicist is aware of your junk-food aversion, surely bookstores could be notified.

  9. Diana Peterfreund on #

    I’m glad I’m not alone in being baffled by the popularity of Krispy Kreme. I actually like donuts, but I don’t understand why anyone would drown them in gelatinous sugary goo.

  10. cat on #

    I do not see anything wrong with you not liking junk food. I think that is a good thing. Keep you healthy. I agree with you. I do not eat any of the junk food you listed. They do not taste good (to me). I have tried Krispy Kreme before and have only had few that tasted wonderful most just tasted overly sweet and fried. I rarely eat doughnuts anymore. Either I am tired and starving or someone has freshly made a really good one. There are two things that I like that you do not (the 2 c’s) that are my downfall. Be proud that you are not into junk food. Many people are not. That is a good thing!! Hope you can find things that you can eat on your schedule. Have fun.

  11. Yanni on #

    I am so glad that I’m not the only one who thinks Cheetos and Krispy Kreme doughnuts are some of the vilest “foods” on earth!

  12. Patrick on #

    I LOVE gelatinous sugary goo. I don’t understand why I should be forced to eat it with a bread product…

  13. Kate McCaffrey on #

    I hate that kind of food- but its not peculiar to USians- obviously, as Oz has ranked as one of the fattest nations in the world. We dont have Krispy Kreme- but whatever the hell those Dunkin’ Donut shops are serving up cant be that far off! They smell like fat- and when I walk past I feel like I’ve gained 10 kilos just breathing in the air. AAAaargh!

  14. Brent on #

    The US has some of the junkiest junk food in the world. A good hunk of the dyes in our foods have been banned in Europe. Many of the other common chemical additives are also banned elsewhere.

    But even McDonalds has some healthy food choices. The salads are fine. There’s also healthy snack foods available even at normally unhealthy convenience stores. It might take a little extra effort on the part of your hosts, but you should be able to eat decently while you’re here.

    Btw, see you in Grand Rapids! It’s only a 90m drive from home, so I’m going to pop up and get my copy of HTDYF signed. 🙂

  15. marrije on #

    amazon have just notified me that “how to ditch your fairy” has liftoff! yay! while i do not believe the estimated arrival date (october 14th! will it swim to europe?), i think i have a while to stock up on justine-appropriate fruitstuffs to enhance the reading experience. looking forward to it 🙂

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