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Atlantic Monthly: Someody has food issues

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

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/a...

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  1. 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:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/bus...

    1. 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

        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

        http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.co...

      2. 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

          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

            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

              yikes. ok, definitely removing it now. thanks!

              1. re: buttertart

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

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

                1. 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:
                  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkint...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SandyCat

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

                    1. re: SandyCat

                      "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. 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. 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

                          "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.

                          1. 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

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

                            2. 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

                                "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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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.

                                    2. re: redfish62

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: redfish62

                                          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.