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There’s no harm in admitting that you’re too cool for school.

With everyone queuing up for poke bowls or baos, it takes guts to say no. Especially when you’re hungry. So for the rebels without a cause, here are 5 ways to preserve your dignity refuse any over-hyped dish that you might feel obliged to try.

(1) It causes cancer

Grossed out by rainbow coloured everything? You’re not alone. In fact, science agrees with you. This study from 2013 explains how food dyes, especially Red 40 and Yellow 6, are petroleum based and actually toxic. If this alone doesn’t scare you, consider how links have been found to hyperactivity, allergies, and even cancer.

Unless you know for sure the colouring used is natural, such as the ones that come from carrots, turmeric or red cabbage, it’s better to play it safe. It’s hard for anyone to reject facts or numbers, so feel free to use them on your friends.

(2) Salads are a waste of time

We’re kidding. Kinda.

The truth is, salad bars exist on the premise of a lifestyle rather than a way to live better. Plenty of people visit them because they buy into the idea that what they eat reflects their existential aspirations.

Also, if you lead an active lifestyle, you will need your carbohydrates to stay focused and energised. Salads are notoriously low in nutrition, and if you want to go the environmentally conscious route, you can even start a conversation about the burden they place on our world food supply.

Tell your friends that when you think of comfort (real) food, you think of wanton noodles, pizza and tacos. If they fault you for that, get some new friends.

(3) It’s expensive

Ever wondered why a latte in the heartlands/suburbs costs $4.50 and one in the city or a newly “hipster” neighbourhood costs $6?

No, it’s not because the coffee is better.

Food trends often pop up in newly gentrifying neighbourhoods. This means that restaurants or coffee shops are paying higher-than-usual rents, and these overheads are being passed on to you. While it might be embarrassing, in the face of peer pressure, to admit to being conscious of your spending, try it once and subsequent refusals will become much easier.

Credits: Miss Tam Chiak (http://www.misstamchiak.com/)
(4) You’re not really a (insert food trend) kind of person

Take a bag of chips for instance. Or french fries. If refusing a proffer of one might be perceived as a personal affront, talk about how you were raised on a strict diet that never included any kind of junk food. Feel free to include everything from bubble tea to eggs benedict.

You might attract some strange glances.

Just shrug, and make sure you perfect that look of detached disinterest that you now direct at said food item. Then look up, and smile. Throw in a tinge of abstract sadness for good measure. Remember, it’s not your fault that you’re just not into that.

(5) Give in, but don’t give up

No one should ever want to be a wet blanket. Sticking to your guns is admirable, but getting into a debate about science and lifestyle choices can get in the way of simply having a good time with your friends.

So try this instead:

Express your skepticism, and then offer to share said food item with someone, just in case you don’t like it. Say ‘no’ to food waste, right? Once you’ve established that you don’t like it, you’ll never have to eat it again.

If you do happen to really like it, well, who said all food trends are gross, gimmicky, or tasteless?

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