We're entering the official holiday season, and while it starts with Thanksgiving, for our family it involves plenty of great eating through the rest of the year (and ramped up workouts during the same time). I'm a foodie who enjoys watching cooking shows, and when I'm not traveling too much I enjoy doing a little cooking myself.
I'm also a science and technology nut, and advocate, as anyone who has read this blog in the past can attest. Recently, I got a chance to attend Alton Brown's Eat Your Science show on Broadway. For those farmers reading this who don't know who Alton Brown is, he's a food celebrity who created the show Good Eats (still airing on the Cooking Channel) and is author of 8 cookbooks.
And why do I bring up Alton? Well he's a food science geek who explains everything from how yeast works, to how liquid nitrogen can improve a very bad cocktail (I will not elaborate on that). But early in his show he had a little fun with being a "food god" and what he would do if that happened. And there were two comments he made that I really enjoyed, even though I was sitting in New York, the epicenter of all-organic, gluten-free eating.
First, he commented that as a "food god" he would end the phrase Farm to Table. Noting that "all food comes from the farm!!!" He explained that this phrase, which he though was okay the first 100 times he heard it, is just nonsense since all food must be raised on farms. But added that in New York the more accurate phrase would be "back of the truck to table." Noting that "all food eaten in a New York restaurant came off the back of a delivery truck."
As someone who travels a lot, I get to see all the marketing hoopla at bigger restaurants from the "organic" nonsense to "farm to table." Mr. Brown's perspective was refreshing. I will never look at "farm to table" the same way again.
Second, he said as a "food god" all turkeys would have four thighs (which would also mean four drumsticks), because he says that's where all the flavor in a turkey is and added that turkey breast is not good food. While I may disagree with that sentiment it was his next comment I really enjoyed. "Of course, that would take genetic engineering, and I have no problem with that!" Remember he's a food science geek, and he knows his stuff.
This was refreshing too, since you never hear a food celebrity "have no problem" with genetic engineered food. Nice.
There was one thing he said he'd do as a "food god" that I must disagree with. He'd make all rats taste like bacon – which would of course end the global rat problem. Can't see my way into that idea...though I am a big bacon fan. Pork producers, you're safe.
My conclusion? Well, it seems to me that there are voices of reason out there. And we need to connect with them when we can. I enjoyed the show. Got a little free popcorn out of it (that's a story for another time), and heard someone who isn't trying to radicalize food. Really, it is all about Good Eats!
Enjoy the holidays, and savor the great food that so many of you are involved in growing. Thanks.