What Iris Apfel Learned About Eating From Living in Italy

Iris Apfel. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

When you imagine Naples, you might think of Julia Roberts reaching mozzarella nirvana in Eat, Pray, Love, but 40 years ago the Italian city was facing culinary tragedy — a cholera outbreak caused by mussels. In a recent interview with Bon Appetit’s Healthy-ish, fashion icon Iris Apfel explains she “avoids raw fish and other uncooked meats” after witnessing the epidemic.

We already know Apfel as a delightful rarity — it’s hard to imagine other 96-year-olds wearing such grand sunglasses and starring in social-media campaigns. But to set her even further apart from the population, she told Healthy-ish that she doesn’t like big portions, or rich foods: “A big portion always scares me off.”

Similar to many celebrities and influencers today, Apfel believes in the power of turmeric. But in stark contrast, she doesn’t believe in advising anyone how to live their lives. “It’s not my place,” she said, “to tell other people how to live.”

Why Iris Apfel Avoids Certain Foods