The Case Against Foodies

14 Feb

Writer B.R. Myers tackles the ongoing epidemic of foodies in a long piece published in this month’s edition of The Atlantic. His rant spares no one: people ranging from Michael Pollan to Anthony Bourdain are attacked in the article. Now, I actually agree with Myers in some of his points. Among the obnoxious things that foodies do:

1. Invent trends that people follow stupidly without thinking for themselves. Example: the recent spate of pie store openings and  the country’s desire for gourmet butchers.

2. Tell people that really expensive food is a “good bargain.” I agree, a $100 lunch cannot be considered a good bargain by anyone.

3. Creating “dining experiences,” appreciating the “journey” that food can take you on, etc.

4. Anthony Bourdain is annoying. But I don’t dislike his work because it’s about food. I dislike it because Bourdain’s personality is oafish and annoying. I would feel the same way if he wrote about interior decorating or sports.

Now, I draw the line with other points that he makes.

1. Not all foodies are created equal. Not everyone preaches. I don’t agree that Michael Pollan, for example, is overly preachy at all. Pollan’s mission is to change the way we think about the food we eat. He wants us to appreciate how the food we eat made it to our plates, and what costs that has associated with it. He wants us to eat better food, and has a health epidemic and obesity to support him.

2. Foodies don’t all rub organic food in the faces of the poor. A lot of people make it their mission to increase access to these foods to the poor. It’s true that low-income families often don’t have access to organic, healthy foods. That’s the problem. That’s what I’d like to see change. Americans need to prioritize food as an important expense, rather than looking for the cheapest products out there.

Obviously, I could go on and on. How about you read the article and let me know what you think?

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