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In the NY Times, Frank Bruni published a piece about Anthony Bourdain's rant against Paula Deen and others, that she's, to paraphrase minimally, the most dangerous person in American because she's urging an already-overweight population to eat even more unhealthfully.  Frank Bruni accuses him, and the media, of "culinary elitism," stating that "cheap" excesses from Deen et al provoke outrage while $200-a-plate excesses from four-star chefs elicit swoons.  Read the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/bruni-unsavory-culinary-elitism.html

There were lots of responses to this; you can google as I did.  But here were two that I thought were interesting.  Here, a response that points out the inherent sexism of how we categorize chefs in the media:

http://thefeministkitchen.com/2011/08/29/bourdain-v-deen/


And here's another re-post with comments.  I thought the comments were interesting.

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2011/08/culinary-elitism.html


Here was my favorite comment:

You want cheap? Here's cheap -- brown rice; lentils; cabbage; broccoli; carrots; onions; garlic; apples; bananas. Lentils are a complete protein, and if you wanted a grain that was also a protein, you could add in quinoa.

When you need to eat inexpensively, you can still make a crucial distinction between cheap food that is energy-dense (or calorific) and cheap food that is nutrient-dense (or nutritious). You could eat nothing but the items above for months, and you'd have a good enough diet, especially if you went to the Indian store for cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, black mustard seeds and ginger -- all these spices are very alkalizing and will support bone health. You could eat from the low end of Paula Deen's creations, for about the same money, and over the same few months become fat and ill.

You can make your food dollar go very far indeed, if you have to, and for a very long time, by practicing good nutrition. You don't have to be sold a bill of goods by a purveyor of low end killer cuisine. I would urge you not to let those people get rich off your bad choices.


Anyway, always good to have these discussions, I think.

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