Food, Food Movements, and Food Revolutions

February 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm (Ideas) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

You know, I am really into food.  I mean, have you seen my cupcake blog?

At times I’ve considered giving up all my media / publicity / political stuff and going to culinary school or otherwise becoming involved in food and food justice movements. I can feel pretty schizophrenic a lot of the time because I am interested in and excited about a lot of different things, and I’m not willing to give up any of them. Maybe I just need to write more about food.

So, in that vein, I’ve been reading quite a few interesting food-related things lately and I wanted to pass them on:

First, on “Foodies.” I reluctantly use the word “foodie” to describe myself because I am so into food, because I totally buy into that whole California fresh-seasonal-local thing, and because I really enjoy cooking for myself and with friends. And though I don’t have a lot of money, I totally splurge on hip, fancy restaurants way more than I should.

Anyway, The Atlantic recently published a piece called “The Moral Crusade Against Foodies.” Sigh. Here is a tidbit: “It has always been crucial to the gourmet’s pleasure that he eat in ways the mainstream cannot afford.” And here’s another: “Even if gourmets’ rejection of factory farms and fast food is largely motivated by their traditional elitism, it has left them, for the first time in the history of their community, feeling more moral, spiritual even, than the man on the street.” You know, I don’t think we’re talking about the same people here, and these stereotypes are what make me reluctant about the word “foodie.” But, whatever, I claim it and the whole slow, DIY, make-it-accessible to-everyone side of it all.  There’s a great response here (plus a comment on the crazy Dervaes Urban Homesteading thing) by Peter on Cookblog here’s an excerpt:

“Going after egregious food snobs and gluttons is fine, but to include by extension the widespread attempts by regular people to produce and/or connect with their food is unfair. And would it have been so hard to make the piece funny? Gardening, curing, pickling, canning, and building sustainable local and regional food systems are noble and important, especially given the impending apocalypse. I helped kill and butcher a pig, and it was a valuable experience. Wealthy snobs and the novelty-craving media drive these trends right off the absurdity cliff but if the result is more people thinking about what and how they eat and making better choices then that’s OK by me. Such broad-brush (and humorless) generalizing is just obnoxious.”

And don’t miss Nicolette Hahn Niman’s response here (or her awesome op-ed in the LA Times from January).

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