First up: Michael Pollan had a doom-and-gloom article in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine predicting the extinction of cooking. I think Pollan is a terrific and persuasive writer, and I enjoyed this article, even if I think he went a bit too far in his predictions. There are a lot of people cooking, obviously, or there wouldn’t be so many food bloggers, but I think some of his points, especially linking cooking to health, are very salient. I especially enjoyed the photographs that accompanied the article, which were like anti-food styling.
For the record, I didn’t take Pollan’s article as sexist. I think we have to make a distinction between the historical role that women have played as home cooks, which is factual, and the cultural role that is often assigned to women. I think Pollan was referring to the historical role when he drew the link between women entering the workforce and the decline in home cooking, and he also went on to attribute the decline to other factors beyond that obvious one. Also, I never got the sense that he was advocating a return to the kitchen by women, but rather by anyone who wants to cook. Obviously, he does a lot of the cooking in his family. So I think cries of sexism may be overblown.
Beyond Pollan, here are several other recent food articles that are well worth your perusal:
- When a Chef Gets Famous by Grant Achatz (Atlantic)
- When the Chef Is Trying to Kill You (The Faster Times)
- Tossing Out the Diet and Embracing the Fat (NY Times)
- Adventures in Blueberry Picking (yours truly)