Fighting the Culinary Fusspots

So you’ve canceled your subscription to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s newsletter. You’ve figured out that the Humane Society of the United States is a richer version of PETA and the “Physicians Committee” for Responsible Medicine is PETA’s lab-coated evil twin (not that there's a good twin in this scenario). You’ve even learned to thumb your nose at nanny-state bureaucrats who want a say in your soft drink choices, your carb counts, and your salt intake.

But after all that, food activism will still fight for your attention—courtesy of moralizing celebrity chefs and cookbook authors.

In a suburban Philadelphia newspaper this morning, we’re taking aim at Jamie Oliver, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, and other self-anointed foodie “experts.” This current crop of gastronomes makes us wistful for Julia Child. She was opinionated, but always leaned toward common sense. And her recipes? You could actually enjoy them without a food scale, a wallet card, and a mood ring.

We write today:

It's easy for celebrity food pundits to tell us we should buy "local" and "organic" and "free-range" – or my favorite, "air-chilled" – because they have the financial means to do so, thanks to book deals and TV contracts. But for many Americans, eating elite is simply out of their price range …

We wouldn't want the loudmouths on cable news to make public policy decisions. And neither should we want chefs – no matter how well intentioned – to dictate food policy.

They can continue teaching us how to dish up fettuccine, as long as it doesn't come with a side of pretentiousness.

Click here to read the whole essay.

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