Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Green Issue

We just got home from dinner and drinks with some of Cooper's cousins and I have settled into the sofa, glass of wine in hand and the brand new February issue of Bon Appetit on my lap.

I wasn't planning on doing any blogging tonight, but I couldn't even get past page nine of the magazine without dragging my laptop over to my, well, lap. And what's on page nine, you ask? The list of contributors.

I'll get into this a little more on Monday, but for the past week or so, I've been entrenched in "trends" and "hot for 2008" type lists. I can't say I've been wildly surprised by what tops the lists - meat, not meat, eco-whateverism, seasonal, local, local, local. What did just surprise me was that each of the five contributors profiled in BA represent one of those big, huge trends - and not much else.

Really, Bon Appetit? After a couple of years of having Michael Pollan and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall shoved down our foodie throats, your "feel good food" issue offers just more of the same? Not to make light of Pollan's and Fearnley-Whittingstall's contributions to the conversation, or to suggest that any of the articles aren't interesting and relevant (I haven't read them yet, obviously), but can't you give us something new?

Then, after reading the profiles, I had a hunch, so I flipped to the cover. Yep, right next to "Feel Good Food", there it was: "The Green Issue".

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for doing what we can to treat the environment with respect. Go Earth! Really. But it seems to me that every issue of every magazine I pick up is dubbed "the green issue". Why not just go green overall and skip the puffery? Add a little leaf to the corner of each page to remind us that you're printing on recycled paper or whatever, and feel free to include a regular column that focuses on eco-cuisine or -design or whatever-your-subject-is, but please, spare us "THE GREEN ISSUE".

I'm all worked up now, when all I wanted to do was have a drink and a little bit of a relaxing read.

Honestly, though, it's not that I don't want to read about local food or the glories of meat or the environmental benefits of vegetarianism (OK, maybe not that last one so much...). It's just that I'd really, really like to read something new, too. Bon Appetit is a good magazine. I guess I just shouldn't count on it for the truly cutting edge.

UPDATE: I've just been reminded, via the comments, that I meant to post an update this morning. I did read the whole magazine last night and, while I stand by my initial "not REALLY new enough" and "seriously, GREEN AGAIN?" frustrations, there were a couple of great articles and a ton of really fantastic-sounding (and approachable recipes). Most notably, Molly Wizenberg (aka blogger Orangette) debuts a monthly column, this one called "Why I'm Not a Vegetarian". It's funny and interesting and really solid and will probably be the first thing I read in the next issue. And I can't say it doesn't warm my heart to see a really good blogger get the props she deserves.


Anonymous said...

Did you read Molly's piece? And the one on transfats?

Kit Pollard said...

I did - I actually read the whole issue front to back after I posted. And I was planning to write something this morning specifically about Molly's article - I thought it was fantastic.

The one on transfats was good, too - interesting and informative. And as usual, I dog-eared about 20 recipes that I want to make NOW (I think I like BA more for the recipes than the articles, and F&W more for the articles than the recipes).

But I still put the magazine down wishing there'd been something - even something small - that felt really and truly new.

Like I said in the post, I've been reading a lot of "hot trends" type lists lately, so maybe I'm just greened and eco-ed and meat-ed out right now...


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