17 February 2007


I gave myself thirty-five minutes on Saturday to bash out a tirade. I got about five hundred words into it and was stuck more firmly in a morass of competing arguments than I've ever been. Funnily enough, the question of the best food to eat is a little bit complex. So, I'm taking it as a sign that my second shot at a tirade has also resulted in exhaustion. Michael Pollan's "Unhappy Meals" (registration required, but it's still free, thank god) article in the NYT Magazine summed most of it up for me, though his mistrust of science has been rightly panned.

Here's a few thoughts that've been kicking around my head:
  • Your kitchen (cuisine) is a cottage industry and an expression of you and your culture. There are corporations and industrial chains out there which are competing with your cottage industry. There's a historical analogy here. American home cooking : American agribusiness :: Indian saris : British textile mills.
  • There's a lot of putting up or shutting up that needs to go on to undo the Walmarting of American food. If you want to live in a neighborhood with a butcher shop, you must buy your meat at that butcher shop whenever possible. If you want the option of going to farmer's markets, you need to go to farmer's markets as much as you can. If you want good food rather than fast food, demand good food. This will cost you more money. Consider it a "character tax". Decide how important eating well is to you and use your money and time accordingly. (The Italian analog here, which came to me several times while living there, is that if you want to be able to get anything you want on Sunday, be prepared to work seven days a week.)
Of course, when the food industry can produce such wonders as Guinness Marmite, it really saps my ire.

No comments: