Friday, May 26, 2006

On Eating and Virtue

Katherine Mangu-Ward has a truly excellent essay in the current issue of Doublethink. It's a fairly biting (and funny) critique of recent incarnations of the "virtuous eater" - along with a lesson in the historical and theological origins of the concept. My favorite sentence:
Perhaps they can't stem their daughter's text-messaging addiction, but if a few extra dollars a month for organic milk will hold back little Madison's journey into adulthood, surely it's worth it.

Of course, I completely subscribe to some tenets of virtuous eating, including the concept skewered by the above sentence. (I have seen one too many overdeveloped 13-year-olds walking around my town.) As I've mentioned here before, accepting the Alice Waters guidelines - believing in the superiority of locally grown and seasonal products - is practically cost of entry into the foodie world.

At the same time, nobody likes a zealot. Who wants to have dinner with somebody who's so caught up in the origins of their food that they forget to actually enjoy it? Certainly not me. And I don't want to have those people over for dinner, either. Partly because I wouldn't want to cook for them...and partly because they sound boring.

On that note, I'm going to return to my non-PC kitchen for a brownie made from a box mix. Because it will taste good.

1 comment:

Alanna said...

Well said. But as for the brownie? All the best foodies know the best brownies come from boxes! ;-)

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