Thus far I have mostly been pleasantly surprised by the Earthlings and their (albeit occasionally strange) culinary habits. However, today I came across a concept which not only shocked and horrified me, but completely shattered my existing perceptions about this planet and its occupants. Today, I discovered that humans consciously and willingly deprive themselves of food in a baffling process they call ‘die-it’. At first, I assumed it was some sort of ritualistic punishment, or perhaps a noble attempt by weak, unproductive members of the race to accelerate their impending demise (implicit in the ‘die’ part of the word) for the general betterment of the planet. However, it turns out the real reasons behind this practice are far more illogical. From what I have learnt, majority of the humans who put themselves through this physical and mental torture do so in order to improve their physical appearance. I understand the need for moderation and a healthy lifestyle, but deprivation motivated by vanity is something that I could never wrap my head around. I suppose this is what ‘culture shock’ feels like. On Gastronomica, we wear our weight with pride. The larger the belly, the more respect it commands- after all, indulging in something as rewarding as food should be celebrated. Considering this horrible ‘die-it’ practice comes from the race that invented the cheesecake, I must say I’m more than a little disappointed.