The Campaign Trail

Cook of Mormon: A Look at Mitt Romney’s Religious Diet

Is that a veggie burger?
Is that a veggie burger? Photo: AP

As we all know by now, Mitt Romney is a Mormon. And so while it’s possible to spot Barack Obama inhaling fried food or grabbing a quick beer, well, you won’t spy Mitt engaging in such indulgences. In fact, as we noted a few weeks ago, Romney is even a sourpuss picnic guest. (He tried to turn the tide a bit by proclaiming his love for grits and catfish, but nobody bought it.) But we say, “Hey, it’s not Mitt’s fault.” It’s no wonder he’s so stiff: The guy’s diet is totally restrictive because Mormonism forbids ingesting substances that could become addictive. You’d be in a bad mood, too, if you couldn’t get drunk or guzzle coffee! So just how tough is it to eat like Mitt? Sounds like the answer is very.

Alcohol consumption is the big issue: Mormons can’t drink. Romney must be totally sober at all times. This certainly gives him one fewer alibi when it comes to his previous missteps (the high-school bullying, the dog on the roof, etc). And forget carousing abroad at bars, or even enjoying a casual tipple of Fernet at White House fêtes. “Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies,” Mormon law states. So he won’t toss back beers with the hoi polloi in small-town America, but it sounds like body shots of Cuervo might be a gray area.

Next up, caffeine, namely in the form of coffee and tea, is also verboten. It’s tough to argue with the addictive nature of caffeine; one day without the stuff and we’re having seizures. But the law also states that “hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” So no warm apple cider? No hot chocolate?

Okay, what about fast food? Sounds like Romney won’t be making any Five Guys runs if he lands in Washington: “A flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly.”

That said, Mormonism does recommend that followers maintain a three-month supply of food and water at home. But a photo op of Romney dribbling Campbell’s soup down his chin while reclining in his study doesn’t have quite the same human touch.

The Doctrine and Covenants [Church of Latter-Day Saints]

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Cook of Mormon: A Look at Mitt Romney’s Religious Diet