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Atlantic Monthly: Someody has food issues

The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 10, 2011 04:55 AM

This guy was on Morning Joe February 9. Somebody had some food issues. Feel free to respond to the stupid magazine.


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  1. Kagemusha RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 10, 2011 05:15 AM

    With the possible exception of Bourdain--who can sniff BS upwind for miles--none of the food fetishists Myers skewers in the article really get it. The enormity of this problem and its aftershocks strike me as way more important:


    1. SnackHappy RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 10, 2011 05:19 AM

      I read it really fast, probably too fast. The man comes off as a puritan, but he does have a point. Whether you like it or not, we live in Rome.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SnackHappy
        Robert Lauriston RE: SnackHappy Feb 21, 2011 10:43 AM

        B. R. Myers is a puritanical vegan and animal-rights activist, and that's really his only point. He tries to disguise it as an attack on gluttony, food-writing puffery, and so on, but that's like libertarians writing ballot arguments against school bonds.

        "Foodies are an elitist, gluttonous, vocal minority who feign concern for animals while fetishizing their consumption. Oh, and foodie views are so monolithic that one clearheaded writer can neatly swat them all down in a single essay."—Monica Eng


      2. buttertart RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 10, 2011 06:18 AM

        He's right about the Severson book. The most self-congratulatory and tedious book on food I picked up last year. Could not choke it down. Otherwise...calm down, mister.

        4 Replies
        1. re: buttertart
          goodhealthgourmet RE: buttertart Mar 22, 2011 10:02 PM

          i'm so glad i saw this, BT! i've had the Severson book on my Amazon wish list but never pulled the trigger - i may just delete it now :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            buttertart RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 23, 2011 05:46 AM

            I hated it. One of the very few food-oriented (sort of, it's a recovery memoir as well) books I've ever not finished reading.

            1. re: buttertart
              goodhealthgourmet RE: buttertart Mar 23, 2011 12:04 PM

              yikes. ok, definitely removing it now. thanks!

              1. re: buttertart
                Glencora RE: buttertart Mar 23, 2011 12:40 PM

                I hated it too, and I was a fan before. She doesn't actually seem to like the women she claims are her mentors. It gave me an icky feeling.

          2. c
            cgj RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 10, 2011 10:05 AM

            I honestly loved the article and thought he completely nailed it. The line between appreciating food and fetishizing it has gotten very hard to see.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cgj
              mtngirlnv RE: cgj Mar 22, 2011 04:30 PM


            2. g
              gfr1111 RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 11, 2011 05:52 AM

              Myers needs to relax. Every time there is a pleasure in life, some Puritan wants to make you feel guilty about it.

              1. k
                karenfinan RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 11, 2011 08:33 AM

                well I just read the article- what a pompous killjoy!

                1. s
                  SandyCat RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 11, 2011 10:49 AM

                  I read this and I did not love it, though I do agree with cgj about how there's a very thin line between food appreciation and celebration and fetishism/elitism. Furthermore, I actually do believe there's a bit of orthorexia sweeping the nation, that if we eat what is "right" - whether low-calorie, healthy foods or environmentally-sustainable foods or some combo - that we are somehow better or can hold our heads higher than others. So in that sense, it is something to beware.

                  However, mostly I want to punch B.R. Myers in the face with a copy of this response:

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SandyCat
                    buttertart RE: SandyCat Feb 11, 2011 10:56 AM

                    By far the best thing Sietsema's written in ages and ages.

                    1. re: SandyCat
                      Robert Lauriston RE: SandyCat Feb 21, 2011 10:39 AM

                      "Ultimately, I think Myers's real problem is dyspepsia. He really, really doesn't enjoy eating. And resents those of us who do."—Robert Sietsema

                    2. ChefJune RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 11, 2011 11:39 AM

                      Did someone MAKE him read those books? and if he hated them, why were they worth his time to coomment on? Oh, that's right... he is getting PAID to knock them...

                      Sorry, I have no sympathy for him. I enjoyed Kim Severson's book. So sue me. Different strokes for different folks.

                      1. Kagemusha RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 11, 2011 12:28 PM

                        As Myers sees it, we're really looking at what's become a somewhat pervy aspirational conceit, especially in its popular forms. It's the dismissive sneer among this group toward anyone without the leisure and resources to play in their league that frosts me, as if the simple convivial enjoyment of otherwise good food is pathetically declasse.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kagemusha
                          ChefJune RE: Kagemusha Feb 12, 2011 06:38 AM

                          "We" are not looking at that unless "We" choose to. HE is who is looking at that, and that's his problem.

                          I don't know anyone in the food business with a "dismissive sneer." Everyone is too busy trying to make a living, and pleasing the customers.

                        2. MGZ RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Feb 25, 2011 08:56 AM

                          Here's an interesting rebuttal:


                          1. mamachef RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Mar 21, 2011 05:33 AM

                            The author clearly had an agenda to publicize, but it had everything to do with his own beliefs regarding vegan lifestyle and animal activism. Good on him, but don't try to be my moral compass!As an omnivore, I would never try to shove my beliefs down the throat of a person who doesn't subscribe to my lifestyle, and it makes me wonder about those who do.
                            Anyway, the article was a complete buzzkill. I hope he's enjoying his life, because to me he sounds issue-ridden, about something that can be such a source of joy and pleasure. Sad.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mamachef
                              flourgirl RE: mamachef Mar 21, 2011 01:21 PM

                              Well said. I find all such evangelists to be tedious in the extreme.

                            2. r
                              redfish62 RE: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah Mar 23, 2011 12:23 PM

                              I'm pretty much a carnivore, animal flesh or products make up probably 80% of my caloric intake, but I agree with him. I buy my animal flesh from the supermarket and eat mainstream types of animal flesh.

                              Lately it has become trendy to eat weird stuff, offal is the new hotness along with animals that aren't widely eaten, like kangaroo.

                              It is all fashion, supposedly I am missing out on something if I eat a cow's muscle tissue rather than its intestines? Give me a break. And the same goes for eating strange animals, the reason eating cows is so popular is that their flesh is nutritious and it tastes good. They taste better than kangaroos or buffalo or ostriches.

                              And I'm not paying $12 a pound to get cow muscle tissue from an animal that was fed grass rather than finished with grains.

                              And enough with the bacon worship, it's bacon, we've all known about it our entire lives. Nothing new or different there.

                              Stop turning food into sex ....

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: redfish62
                                flourgirl RE: redfish62 Mar 23, 2011 12:42 PM

                                "the reason eating cows is so popular is that their flesh is nutritious and it tastes good. They taste better than kangaroos or buffalo or ostriches."

                                I think cow tastes good too, and I've never tried kangaroo or ostrich. I can take or leave buffalo.

                                But I'm not so sure I agree with your premise. I think cows are, first and foremost, "popular" because they are fairly easy to raise in a domestic farm setting and the meat is widely available at a decent price. I'm not so sure the same can be said for kangaroos, ostriches and buffaloes. In fact, I'm sure it's not true for kangaroos and buffaloes. We just happen to live very close to a buffalo ranch - and it is a very dangerous business. They are extremely large animals with rather nasty temperaments. And the meat is EXPENSIVE.

                                1. re: redfish62
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: redfish62 Mar 23, 2011 01:09 PM

                                  kangaroo, buffalo and ostrich aren't "strange" to people in other parts of the world. and i'll personally take buffalo, ostrich or grass-fed beef over mass-produced factory-farmed beef any day - i think they taste better AND i'd rather buy and consume meat that's less damaging to the environment, even if i have to pay a premium for it...but that's just my preference. we're all entitled to one, and that's a big reason there are so many options out there - different strokes, as they say.

                                  and no one is "turning food into sex." the two have been intertwined pretty much since the beginning of time.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                    flourgirl RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 23, 2011 01:32 PM

                                    I know you responded to redfish, but I just wanted to put it out there that I was responding, rightly or wrongly, from an American-perspective. And as far as I know, there aren't a whole lot of kangaroo farms in the U.S.

                                    And I have often read that many non-aboriginial australians don't eat much kangaroo either.

                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                      goodhealthgourmet RE: flourgirl Mar 23, 2011 04:34 PM

                                      yeah, you'll notice i didn't mention kangaroo among the ones i go for - i've never had it, and i didn't eat meat at the time of my trip to Australia :) but i've been eating bison and ostrich here in the good 'ol US of A for several years.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        zooxanthellae RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 6, 2011 09:13 PM

                                        This is slightly off-topic, but would kangaroo meat be like rabbit meat writ large? I'm naively assuming that similar ways of getting around would mean similar muscles, etc.

                                        1. re: zooxanthellae
                                          buttertart RE: zooxanthellae Apr 7, 2011 05:56 AM

                                          I ate kangaroo meat in Taipei (Mongolian BBQ) and it's rather like goat in texture - sort of silky - but very lean and much milder in taste. I haven't eaten rabbit.

                                          1. re: zooxanthellae
                                            Robert Lauriston RE: zooxanthellae Apr 7, 2011 09:27 AM


                                    2. re: redfish62
                                      Robert Lauriston RE: redfish62 Mar 23, 2011 01:49 PM

                                      I think beef is popular in the US because it's relatively bland.

                                      Not that we don't relish the occasional burger, steak, or dry-aged prime rib roast (grain-finished, please), but I and most other open-minded eaters I know prefer pork or lamb to almost any cut of beef.

                                      Industrially-raised beef tastes fine to me, though it's not the best. On the other hand, supermarket pork is flavorless thanks to the industry having bred for leanness.

                                      I've tasted a wide variety of wild game. Most of it was relatively uninteresting. Boar is occasionally tastier than pork. Reindeer aka caribou tastes similar to beef only better.

                                      1. re: redfish62
                                        sueatmo RE: redfish62 Mar 24, 2011 04:55 PM

                                        Hear, hear! Bacon is just bacon. Even very good bacon is just bacon. I completely agree.

                                        1. re: redfish62
                                          Sharuf RE: redfish62 Apr 8, 2011 03:41 AM

                                          Beef and veal are inevitable by-products of animal husbandry in the dairy industry. So, any country that produces cheese will also produce bovine meat.

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