In Defense of Beige Foods

published Aug 11, 2016
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(Image credit: COLCU)

While nude nails, camel coats, and head-to-toe ensembles in putty may be a fall must, beige has a bad rap when it comes to your plate. Frequently associated with words like processed, battered, and fried (i.e., tasty), neutral-hued foods often rank low on the nutrition totem pole. And admittedly, there is something to be said for eating the rainbow.

But let’s not bash the beige just yet. Kale may be healthy,


1. They pick you up when you’re feeling down.

Beige foods are basically comfort foods. That bowl of buttery noodles or mashed potatoes is the food equivalent of wearing your favorite pair of well-worn (probably food-stained) pair of sweatpants. They just make you feel good — and it’s not all in your head. Eating beige foods, which are, more often than not, carbohydrate-heavy, can boost levels of serotonin, making us feel happier and more relaxed.

2. They’re convenient foods.

Ok, so not all beige foods are quick and easy, but, as a general rule, your grocery store is full of ready-to-eat beige foods (consider the bakery and the cereal and snack-food aisles). When you come home late from work and don’t have the energy to make dinner, but don’t want to go to bed hungry, chances are there’s a beige food you can reach for that won’t take a lot of prep work before they’re edible.

3. They’re affordable.

Here’s another pro for beige foods: They’re affordable. It’s no coincidence that foods like pasta, bread, potatoes and other grains are the staples of many cultures’ diets — they fill you up but don’t break the bank. And while, yes, in an ideal world, we could all afford beautiful, colorful organic produce every day, that isn’t everyone’s reality.

4. Some beige foods are healthy.

The past few years has seen the proliferation of grains like quinoa, bulgur and farro. Aside from being beige, they have a couple things in common. First, they’re really old — frequently referred to as ancient grains and have been feeding people for millennia. More importantly, they have all the filling properties of your run-of-the-mill (pun intended) grains, but with more nutritional content; primarily protein.

5. Potatoes are beige.

And who doesn’t love potatoes? They’re starchy and delicious and one of the most versatile foods to ever exist. Roasted, mashed, or scalloped — any which way you please, these spuds will not disappoint.

So next time you’re planning a meal, there’s no need to skip the beige foods. There are plenty of things to feel guilty about — potatoes shouldn’t be one of them.