Who knew!? The blog world will be aTwitter over Michael
Pollan’s new article in the NY Times: Out of the Kitchen Onto the Couch.
I’ve often wondered the same thing: what’s up with people
who are devoted to the Food Network and don’t cook? So Mr. Pollan has attempted
to explain it to me. He’s pretty much in awe of the phenomena, same as I am,
and there doesn’t seem to be any conclusions drawn other than men like to grill
meat and it appears that in cultures where people spend more time in the
kitchen they are less likely to be obese. Cool. Now, tell me why I’m not a
We’ve been in Italy now a little over eight years and I’ve
seen a change in how people shop and what they buy. It used to be that I could
find 10 different types of flour on the shelf, now I have to go to the little
tiny stores just to find whole grain flour. The flour aisle, used to be an
actual aisle, now it’s barely a shelf.
There are more processed foods showing up, although salad dressing has
not made an appearance, so there is some hope. “Philadelphia”, as in Philly
cream cheese is considered exotic, there are really bizarre Kraft food
commercials with happy kids scarfing quasi-food like substances and the
absolute ugliest thing I’ve ever seen: pre-cooked, bun and all, vacuum sealed
hamburgers and hot dogs. That’s the end of civilization, as we know it.
I do think Mr. Pollan’s rambling article is onto something
though. We can’t live in the past. People aren’t going to suddenly start
running into the kitchen to make the bread and skim the stock. Well some of us
are, but we’re the lunatic fringe in this world. Here’s the conundrum: people
yearn for the soul in cooking but are too scared or tired to go into the
kitchen, so they placate themselves by watching TV which makes them feel even
more soul less. What would be the motivation to change our behavior? Remember
this is very, very ingrained behavior. We’ve had marketers brainwash us into
thinking it’s hard to make soup. So, what could change this… you got it….
All the home cooks come together and show everyone how
skinny we are…we’ll change a nation’s eating habits in a minute. I can see the
little Google Ad now…. I’m stirring a big pot of soup with a measuring tape
around my waist. Oh the millions are gonna be rolling in! Happy Days!