the tank Bruni wrote a fantastic article in this week’s Times about culinary elitism and the recent jabs between Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen.
Bruni brings up a few very important points here. First, Anthony Bourdain is a huge douche (but isn’t that why everyone watches his show?). Second, a rise in culinary elitism has meant that top chefs can put down people like Deen who promote the Standard American Diet (SAD) of butter, fried meat, fried everything, and very few whole, healthy foods; while serving $35 plates of pork belly and fried chicken at their critically acclaimed restaurants. Sure, they may have a deeper level of culinary knowledge, and they may wear nicer clothing, but they’re still serving people food that makes them sick and fat.
So how do we promote healthy eating to those who think they can only afford to make cream-laden Deen casseroles every night? As Bruni points out, making healthy food less expensive is an imperative step. But it’s also necessary to show people that budget-friendly food can still be healthy and – gasp! – meat free (rice and beans is a lot cheaper than chicken, and it’s not full of hormones and other weird crap). That’s one of the reasons I admire Mama Pea so much – through her blog and cookbook, she has taken a “show, don’t tell” approach to introducing, healthy, meat-free, affordable, and achievable meals to the American public. Healthy living blogs are so successful in showing people how to attain a realistic healthy lifestyle. This is the way to create change – not to criticize the Paula Deens of the world, but rather to show her audience that healthy food can be tasty and cheap, too. Is there a vegetarian-friendly adaptation of the “teach a man to fish” adage?