A Plea for Culinary Modernism

BWV

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A food historian gives a blast of reality to contemporary romantic views against the industrialized production of food which is in fact a miracle of science and economics:


"Modern, fast, processed food is a disaster. That, at least, is the message conveyed by newspapers and magazines, on television cooking programs, and in prizewinning cookbooks.

It is a mark of sophistication to bemoan the steel roller mill and supermarket bread while yearning for stone ground flour and brick ovens; to seek out heirloom apples and pumpkins while despising modern tomatoes and hybrid corn; to be hostile to agronomists who develop high-yielding modern crops and to home economists who invent new recipes for General Mills.

...

That food should be fresh and natural has become an article of faith. It comes as something of a shock to realize that this is a latter-day creed. For our ancestors, natural was something quite nasty. Natural often tasted bad.
...

Natural was usually indigestible. Grains, which supplied from fifty to ninety percent of the calories in most societies have to be threshed, ground, and cooked to make them edible. Other plants, including the roots and fibers that were the life support of the societies that did not eat grains, are often downright poisonous. Without careful processing green potatoes, stinging taro, and cassava bitter with prussic acid are not just indigestible, but toxic.


https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/slow-food-artisanal-natural-preservatives/
 

Bystander

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Excellent article.
 

russ_watters

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Great article. The naturalistic fallacy and traditionalistic fallacy* are intertwined.

*Did I just make that term up? I'm really not sure. Meh - either way, the "traditionalistic fallacy" is a real thing.
 
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