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46 Responses

  1. Lasciel
    Lasciel August 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |

    Yep. Nothing effects the public poor’s healthy eating like the food a television show on a cable network shows.

    I wish my biggest obstacle to eating healthy was Paula Deen trying to give me a butter fetish.

  2. Brandy
    Brandy August 26, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    *applause*

  3. Katniss
    Katniss August 26, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    Very well said, and I agree. Plus, I like Bourdain’s show but I don’t see where he gets off talking about “healthy”. I’ve yet to see an episode of his that doesn’t show him drinking quite a bit or smoking (or both), or in some cases trying a rare local drug. I’m not against any of those things, but don’t harp on about healthy food while engaging in your own unhealthy habits, right?

  4. Charlotte
    Charlotte August 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

    While I agree wholeheartedly, I have to say that Bourdain’s essay in his latest book about Alice Waters is terrific — sums up both what is groundbreaking and admirable about her, and what is maddening and offensive. He’s much better in writing than on the show, where he falls into the rudeboy thing to an annoying extent …
    Also, misogyny much? Does he ever rant about male Food Channel stars? He used to about Emeril, but Emeril won him over by being a really nice guy …

  5. Marlene
    Marlene August 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

    Nobody better try to make me choose between butter and duck fat!

  6. Ladeeda
    Ladeeda August 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm |

    @Charlotte,

    Well, the article mentioned Guy Fieri (who aside from dressing like an ass has never really struck me as all that offensive; I kinda like the dude), but you’re right, his targets seem by and large to be women.

  7. LC
    LC August 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

    If I find this cumbersome at times (and I love to cook, and am often gratified when I can take the time to do so properly, and have been grateful to be able to do more of that this summer), how do you think other people find it?

    All this.

  8. wriggles
    wriggles August 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm |

    It’s worth saying that just as what’s classed as “junk/y food” is not the province of the poor, with well off folks nutritionally sound (please).

    Its’ also true that some poorer people don’t give a flying fig about food and/ or have minimal apititude for the culinary arts and that’s okay.

    Some people hate loathe and destest cooking and would rather do as little of it as possible, just like middle class people who probably employ people like them (who are good) to do for them.

    I don’t wish to undermine issues of access, they’re important. But I get fed up with the piteous poor when frankly they’re as varied intellectually, politically and socially as the more educated classes, possibly more so in fact as many things can lead to a low income.

    It’s also ignored that when you are poor it is sometimes harder to eat beans and rice because you are more likely to need things that do more than make you feel well nourished.

    Again, that’s better than a lot of other things.

  9. MT
    MT August 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

    You might like this article in the Atlantic-
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/03/the-moral-crusade-against-foodies/8370/5/
    The author clearly has some bias but I think would definitely agree with your 4th paragraph.

  10. Lolagirl
    Lolagirl August 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    I’ve read all of Bourdain’s books and watch his show pretty regularly (I’ve only read his online columns infrequently,) and my general sense of him is that he likes to talk smack about people in general and that he considers it to be part of his smart-ass, cynical act.

    The thing is, Bourdain does talk plenty of crap about other male food personalities, in his show and in his books, such as Guy Fieri, Rocco DiSpirito, Andrew Zimmern (of Bizzare Foods) and Adam Richman (the host of Man v. Food.) He also used to have some pretty horrible things to say about Emeril Lagasse until pretty recently. I think his biggest beef with these foodie personalities is that he considers them to be sell-outs and not “real chefs” who have done their time working in a kitchen and that therefore they never actually earned their celebrity. He also has a big issue with cooks who take weird shortcuts in their recipes that involve pre-made food full of artificial ingredients instead of putting in the hard work of making stuff from scratch.

    I don’t know, I don’t mean to be a big Anthony Bourdain apologist, but I’ve never gotten the impression that he was a misogynist in any way. Sometimes, he can be an ass, and an elitist, but he also does plenty of reverse snobbism by going to the most out of the way places in the world and is a whole lot more open minded about foreign cultures than most.

  11. Dawn
    Dawn August 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    Considering the amount of salt many cooking show hosts cram into the food? I don’t think any of them have the right to call anyone’s food bad. They use so much salt that even I recoil frequently and I love salty food.

    I don’t understand why we can’t get more shows that aren’t all the fancy food with ingredients that are half my monthly food budget, just because some chef making thousands likes duck liver doesn’t make me a fan (I’m allergic to it anyway).

    I’m lucky enough not to live in a food desert but even here I’ve had trouble finding some of the ingredients they use. Whatever happened to good food on a budget?

  12. zuzu
    zuzu August 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm |

    Lolagirl: I think his biggest beef with these foodie personalities is that he considers them to be sell-outs and not “real chefs” who have done their time working in a kitchen and that therefore they never actually earned their celebrity.

    This argument might fly if a) Rachael Ray called herself a chef; b) Paula Deen hadn’t run a catering business and then a restaurant for decades.

    Each of the people he trashes have become popular for a reason. And the reason Rachael Ray, for example, has become popular is that she makes cooking accessible for people who think that they can only call themselves cooks if they spent years in restaurants. The whole premise of her show is that, yes, you can put a real, cooked meal on the table in a short time, and it’s still cooking if you used pre-packaged or pre-washed ingredients.

    As for Deen, I get grossed out watching her cook because she never removes her rings and licks her fingers (which I do at home, but not on TV, dammit), not to mention the butter and mayonnaise, but there’s no way I’m going to disdain her experience because she’s not classically trained.

    You know who I love? Mario Batali. Because not only does he make fabulous food (I’ve gotten to eat in a couple of his restaurants, and they’re fantastic), but he projects an attitude that nothing and no one is below him when it comes to cooking. And that any of his recipes can be made by anyone with a couple of burners and a pan.

  13. Angel H.
    Angel H. August 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    Sheelzebub: I think this is an issue that’s bigger than Bourdain.

    I think so, too. It’s not uncommon on a cooking competition show (“Top Chef”, “Chopped”) to see a chef turn up hir nose when presented with an ingredient they consider below them (goat, condensed soup, boxed mac and cheese).

  14. Angel H.
    Angel H. August 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    Sheelzebub, re: boxed mac and cheese.

    Oh, yeeeeeah! A can of tuna fish and some frozen broccoli and I am good to go!

  15. BHuesca
    BHuesca August 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    I’ve only watched bits of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show, but I did watch enough to catch that his wife “made” him quit smoking (not drinking, though) when she was pregnant with their child. And he was a famous chef who worked on the line for a couple decades before working at the famed Les Halles in NYC, so he was a “real” chef too. I know pretty much nothing else about him, and I’m sorry that this is merely tangential, but I wanted to clear up a couple things said upthread that I knew weren’t true, AFAIK.

  16. LC
    LC August 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm |

    Sheelzebub: OH HOW I LOVE THEE BOXED MAC AND CHEESE).

    Still one of my default comfort foods when I just need to not worry my pretty little head about it.

  17. Hattie
    Hattie August 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm |

    Having cooked just about all my (long) life and finding it one of the enduring pleasures of my life, I can only be baffled by all these carryings on.
    I guess the hysteria about physical appearance, fear of fat, and so on, have taken a lot of the pleasure out of cooking and eating for many.
    And there is the poverty factor, of course. Food has gotten too expensive and hard to find in many places.
    I guess it’s no longer an option just to be someone who goes in the kitchen, cooks a meal, and enjoys it with friends and family. Not fancy enough.

  18. Djiril
    Djiril August 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm |

    I’m a big Anthony Bourdain fan myself, and I have no qualms about being an apologist. What I really like about him is how he encourages people to step out of their comfort zones both foodwise and culturally at home and abroad. His show also has more of a social conscience than most popular travel shows, and I like how he avoids easy answers when addressing social problems. He has also been known to express an appreciation for tough independent female chefs.
    I’m not saying he’s the perfect social activist, but he does at least seem very aware of the social and economic implications of what he does, and he is one of the few “politically incorrect” personalities that I actually find challenging and thought-provoking. I don’t agree with him about everything, but I don’t need to in order to enjoy his work.

    His trash-talking about other celebrity chefs is sort of a guilty pleasure for me. I know they don’t necessarily deserve it, but it’s fun to listen to.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

  19. Jeanne
    Jeanne August 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

    @Lolagirl

    I thought he and Andrew Zimmern got along? They seemed to when they guest starred on each other’s shows, anyway, but that could have just been in front of the cameras.

  20. karak
    karak August 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    How about people that simply do not like to cook? I hate it. I fucking hate it. Every minute spent in front of a stove I can actually feel my heart race and my face flush because I’m so goddamn angry at having to fucking cook.

    Not to mention that a lot of those delicious hoity-toity foreign “classy” ingredients are the equivalent of pig feet and chicken lips. People ate that shit because they were starving, it gained a cultural identification, and then they seized power and SUDDENLY duck feet are just the shit.

  21. Mizz Alice
    Mizz Alice August 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm |

    I’ve watched a lot of Anthony Bourdains show via Netflix, and from what I remember, he is on medication for clogged arteries or some such medical problem – from eating too much pork is what he said. I think he’s a total hypocrit if he’s trying to make any kind of jab about healthy eating to anyone. I also think people watch too much tv and make bad decisions based on celebrities opinions rather than thinking for ourselves.

    This is a buch of elitist punk-asses playing celebrity drama because all that money and attention really isn’t enough in the end. I think us common-folk need to realize this more often and start living life by our own standards.

    I have yet to taste saffron, and I really don’t care.

  22. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse August 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm |

    Andrew Zimmern actually posted in support of Bourdain here: http://andrewzimmern.com/content/bourdain-deen-bruni-redzepi…and-why-it-matters. I agree with Djiril’s take on Bourdain above. He’s interesting and thought-provoking and his is the only travel show where I think the host is actually trying to listen to and understand the cultural experiences of the people he is visiting. And I pretty much think Paula Deen is the devil, so I’ll be here, cheering him on.

  23. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm |

    Never seen Bourdain’s show. Put down Kitchen Confidential after the first chapter because I thought it was written by a 3 year old. Plus, worst of all, like 10 years ago he turned up at a show my band was playing at and just walked around wanting people to look at him. (They were supposed to be looking at me.) What does this have to do with the OP? Probably nothing, except I agree Bourdain’s a shithead.

  24. Drahill
    Drahill August 27, 2011 at 1:24 am |

    Being critical of Paula Deen has so much potential, but the quotes above seem like Bourdain wanted to talk poorly far more about her food than other (more valid) criticisms. I would have loved to see him really challenge her on her relationship with Smithfield (her face is on the packaging for a lot of their products). Smithfield has a long history of violating animal welfare laws, workers’ rights standards and environmental regulations. I would have loved to see Bourdain challenge her more specifically on her relationships with these corporations and make better points about vetting companies one endorses. But, hey, that doesn’t make as much press as talking about Butter, y’all.

  25. Ginny W
    Ginny W August 27, 2011 at 5:53 am |

    I don’t know, I don’t mean to be a big Anthony Bourdain apologist, but I’ve never gotten the impression that he was a misogynist in any way.

    Really? Because I certainly have. The man is a serious proponent of the massive misogyny of restaurant kitchen culture, as well as the racism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry of restaurant kitchen culture. It’s not a cynicism act, and it’s not funny. It is deadly serious. It is massively damaging to women, POC, disabled people, LGBTQ people, and others in the restaurant industry.

    I know, I know, he’s so entertaining, he’s so informative. Hell, I like his stuff, too, sometimes. But he perpetuates the massive problems that affect me, personally.

    And hearing people defend him hear sucks.

  26. Ginny W
    Ginny W August 27, 2011 at 6:01 am |

    Blast. Defend him here.

  27. Djiril
    Djiril August 27, 2011 at 8:33 am |

    Ginny W: Really? Because I certainly have. The man is a serious proponent of the massive misogyny of restaurant kitchen culture, as well as the racism, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry of restaurant kitchen culture. It’s not a cynicism act, and it’s not funny. It is deadly serious. It is massively damaging to women, POC, disabled people, LGBTQ people, and others in the restaurant industry.

    I know, I know, he’s so entertaining, he’s so informative. Hell, I like his stuff, too, sometimes. But he perpetuates the massive problems that affect me, personally.

    And hearing people defend him here sucks.

    That does bother me, and it bothered me when I first read it as well. I don’t like the fact that he defends a culture where I know I wouldn’t be able to work easily, even if I was technically capable of doing the job. And yes, it actually bothers me a lot.
    It’s just that it seems that so much of the culture of the world is like this that I end up wondering how much of the world I have to reject for not living up to my standards. How much valid insightful writing and social commentary is out there that makes a good point on one hand but perpetuates something bad in society on the other hand? I would rather take the good with the bad and engage with the material than shun half of the viewpoints I come across.
    It actually disturbs me that I didn’t remember this passage in-particular when writing my first response, since it did have an impact on me when I first read it and I definitely would have brought it up if I had remembered. Maybe I am deluding myself, but “teaspoons against the ocean” is just too frustrating for me.

  28. Djiril
    Djiril August 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    And I’m not saying that I won’t fight the good fight when the opportunity arises, it’s just that it seems to me that a teaspoon against the ocean is literally all you have if you reject everyone who might be doing something good on one hand while perpetuating a harmful idea on the other, and that by taking the good with the bad, which does not necessarily exclude calling out the bad, you end up with more allies.

  29. Mitch Gordon
    Mitch Gordon August 27, 2011 at 10:43 am |

    As much as I respect and admire Anthony Bourdain, he could have put that much better. I think what most people are missing here is the difference between indulgence and gluttony. Going out to dinner at a special restaurant and treating yourself to rich buttery food, or a dish with pork rinds on occasion is not the problem. When most of your recipes are using huge amounts of butter, pork fat, etc……..that is not indulgence, that is gluttony. Paula Deen herself stated “My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills..” Filling them up on a daily basis with fat and carbs is not helping them. It is killing them. Bourdain also joined Food Network star Alton Brown in his criticism of Bourdain’s fellow Travel Chanel host Adam Richman. The subject was on gluttony. I heard him speak recently, and this was a subject that came up several times in his talk.

    Bourdain was just being Bourdain. If you don’t want to know what he thinks, then don’t ask. I think perhaps it would be better to ask him who he thinks are the best stars on Food Network. You might be surprised. He isn’t such a bad guy after all.

  30. Kristen J
    Kristen J August 27, 2011 at 11:05 am | *

    The part that irritates me about this stuff is I do believe the food tv industry *knows* this. I can’t imagine that they don’t realize there’s a grocery gap. They know what their demographics look like. They know how important food is in different cultures. All the pieces are there. So I think its a publicity stunt to get their viewers all hyped up about a “side” and if it leads to misogyny, fat hate and classist bullshit…bonus.

    Shorter: the industry is awash with enormous fuckwads.

  31. chava
    chava August 27, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    The “beans and rice” argument always annoys me. With the breakup of extended family structures, no one is at home ALL DAY to cook traditional food anymore. And beans and rice, or mujadrah, or pasta e faigoli, is not a dish that you can whip up in five minutes.

    I mean, you CAN. But it won’t be any good. And really, shitty “beans and rice” is horrible/tastes like cardboard. Peasant food is cheap ingredients +TIME. The working class in America have been screwed out of both.

    My family’s traditional food in its cheapest forms requires 1) olive oil in quantity 2) trimmings of fatty meat 3) bitter greens, garlic, tomatoes (e.g. veg). None of those things are particularly cheap these days. When I was young, my grandfather lived with us and cooked for the family. This was pretty much what he would do, starting after breakfast, until dinner, when he would have an espresso and watch the fight. I don’t think either of my parents will be able to do the same for me.

  32. Ginny W
    Ginny W August 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    Djiril:

    That does bother me, and it bothered me when I first read it as well. I don’t like the fact that he defends a culture where I know I wouldn’t be able to work easily, even if I was technically capable of doing the job. And yes, it actually bothers me a lot.

    Then why did you say you have no qualms being his apologist?

    It’s just that it seems that so much of the culture of the world is like this that I end up wondering how much of the world I have to reject for not living up to my standards. How much valid insightful writing and social commentary is out there that makes a good point on one hand but perpetuates something bad in society on the other hand? I would rather take the good with the bad and engage with the material than shun half of the viewpoints I come across.

    Nice backbone of excuses you’re building up for yourself to keep liking him anyway, keep watching his shows and reading his books.

    Fuck, I don’t care if you like him. But don’t you fucking defend him as having a social conscience, not in feminist space, not with how fucking horrible he is to women in the industry, and not with how far his influence is felt to perpetutate this kind of treatment of women in the industry.

    It actually disturbs me that I didn’t remember this passage in-particular when writing my first response, since it did have an impact on me when I first read it and I definitely would have brought it up if I had remembered. Maybe I am deluding myself, but “teaspoons against the ocean” is just too frustrating for me.

    You’re making excuses for yourself, is what you’re doing. Oh, I can’t accomplish anything substantial against all this, so I might as well not even try, is what you’re saying. Have fun with that.

    Oh, and I suspect you didn’t remember it particularly because at the time, you were so busy being entertained by his writing that you thought it was funny.

    And I’m not saying that I won’t fight the good fight when the opportunity arises, it’s just that it seems to me that a teaspoon against the ocean is literally all you have if you reject everyone who might be doing something good on one hand while perpetuating a harmful idea on the other, and that by taking the good with the bad, which does not necessarily exclude calling out the bad, you end up with more allies.

    Oh, so now we shouldn’t criticize people who do things we like if they also do things we shouldn’t? We shouldn’t criticize Obama when he sells us out, or Naomi Wolf when she gets all rape apologist, or Dr. King for his sexism, or whatever? BULLSHIT.

    Once again, you are looking for ways to excuse your liking of Broudain’s work to me. You don’t need to excuse it to me. Like him all the fuck you want. But don’t defend him on this shit. Don’t lie to yourself and tell yourself he’s really so socially conscious, and he’s a good guy really, he only puts on this cynical asshole act. No. He’s a misogynist, racist, bigoted douchebag who does huge amounts of harm within his own industry by repeating and holding up the horrifying behaviors as normal and right. Don’t tell yourself that because it doesn’t affect you directly, and he does other good things, and anyway there’s nothing you can really do, that that means you get to keep your pretty picture of him as this really great guy.

    Mitch Gordon:

    I think what most people are missing here is the difference between indulgence and gluttony.

    OK, fuck that for the fat-shaming bullshit tactic it is. Because that’s what you’re saying when you say that: OMG, if you eat too much of that food, you’ll GET FAT AND DIE. Fuck that.

  33. Ginny W
    Ginny W August 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

    Also, Djiril, I never said to throw out his stuff, to not read him or watch him. I said he’s a misogynist, in response to someone who said he wasn’t.

    But for fuck’s sake, did you miss the bit where this is my career, and I am stuck with the consequences of this, even if you’re not? Where this is something I have no other option than to fight, if I want to stay in my chosen field? Don’t tell me I’m throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Bourdain is entertaining as hell, and he does some good stuff, but he is part of what is wrong with my profession, and he hurts me. This is not some generalized, distant thing to me. This is my life.

  34. Djiril
    Djiril August 28, 2011 at 12:55 am |

    @Ginny W.
    You do make some good points, and you are more intimately involved in this issue than me. It is indeed your life and career.

    I do still like a lot about Bourdain’s writing and show, but what I don’t like is probably easier for me to ignore than it is for you. Your blog post titled “On not putting up with it” is a pretty good rebuttal to “Kitchen Confidential.” http://onesownkitchen.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/on-not-putting-up-with-it/

  35. Ginny W
    Ginny W August 28, 2011 at 7:47 am |

    Thanks, Djiril. It just really gets on my nerves to see people defending him on this kind of thing. He does make a good show. But he’s still an absolute shit about a lot of things.

  36. zuzu
    zuzu August 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    Drahill:
    Being critical of Paula Deen has so much potential, but the quotes above seem like Bourdain wanted to talk poorly far more about her food than other (more valid) criticisms. I would have loved to see him really challenge her on her relationship with Smithfield (her face is on the packaging for a lot of their products). Smithfield has a long history of violating animal welfare laws, workers’ rights standards and environmental regulations. I would have loved to see Bourdain challenge her more specifically on her relationships with these corporations and make better points about vetting companies one endorses. But, hey, that doesn’t make as much press as talking about Butter, y’all.

    He’d have to give a shit about how animals were treated, then. Ever hear him go off about vegetarians?

  37. Drahill
    Drahill August 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm |

    Zuzu, I may be in the minority here, but I’m a vegetarian who actually has very little problem with Bourdain. If you read his current book, he actually is a strong proponent of strong animal welfare regulations within the farming and slaughterhouse industries. Obviously, his issues with the practices are more relevant to health and contamination issues around meat, and not animal rights, but in reality, he’s not the far from most of the beliefs that I hold. So, he doesn’t especially offend me.

    I disagree with him on a lot of stuff – but I also get that his views are not rare in the food industry (which I have worked in too). The fundamental question is whether the pleasure and enjoyment that most people get from animal products is worth the ending of a sentient being’s life. For him (and a whole lot of others), sure it is. So in a way, i totally get why living without meat or cheese or eggs is unfathomable to him. It’s a fundamental difference of ethics and opinion.

    But I just do want to point out that I don’t consider disagreeing with vegetarianism to be not acknowledging or caring about animal suffering.

  38. Anna
    Anna August 29, 2011 at 9:51 am |

    Nah. As long as they stick to food in general, I’ll let foodies be foodies. Don’t really much care if they’re subliminally elitist about food and body politics. Even if I know I can’t live Ina Garten’s life, I still love to watch her cook. Even if I know Anthony Bourdain should shut up about “eating healthy” when he sucks bone marrow, lathers himself with pork belly, and is–by the looks of it–borderline alcoholic if he isn’t one already, (and besides that, his specialty is French cuisine–hello, butter anyone?), I still want to find out where his next delicious cheap-eats will be or live vicariously through his impossibly expensive dining experiences.

    I suppose I can be even lazier and tell them they should stay out of the politics of anything, but I don’t really care that much. I suppose in the same way that Super Models aren’t expected to be anything but walking mannequins, my only expectations of celebrity chefs is giving me my daily dose of food porn.

  39. Placebogirl
    Placebogirl August 30, 2011 at 1:29 am |

    Drahill, Bourdain supports foie gras, which is pretty damn cruel in my book. I’m vego, but I recognise the class/time/health privilege that affords me the ability to eat that diet. I do, however, think that where people can they should avoid things that are cruel, and foie gras to me seems to be something which is a)relatively avoidable and b) unnecessarily cruel.

  40. Drahill
    Drahill August 30, 2011 at 2:51 am |

    Placebogirl, I would really recommend reading The Foie Gras Wars by Mark Caro. It’s the sanest read on the market about the foie gras issue. Now, it bears repeating: I’m a vegetarian / vegan when I’m trying to be. But that book is extremely calm and talks to everybody majorly involved in the foie issue, and its excellent.

    The book basically comes away with the conclusion that we cannot conclusively know whether foie is 1.) intrinsically cruel (I was amazed in it when he interviewed Temple Gradin, who herself could not state with any certainty that foie is per se inhumane, and 2.) whether it is inherently any worse than say, veal. Personally, you and I differ in that I find veal and chicken battery cages to be more inhumane that foie gras – at least foie ducks and geese get some reprieve from the feedings – the other stuff is round the clock.

    Frankly, I am not a fan of anti-foie campaigns. They’re low-hanging fruit – obviously, talk about force feeding and swollen livers, and lots of people are going to agree with you. Personally, I’d rather see animal rights focus on far more pervasive ills within the farming industry before foie, which is, by all accounts, an extremely limited industry.

    So, like I said, I don’t necessarily believe that Bourdian is pro-animal rights (clearly, he is not). However, I don’t believe meat consumers cannot become advocates for animal welfare. And as far as foie goes – well, I can disagree with him on that. I’d never eat it – but I’d never eat a hot dog either! But to me, foie is not the gateway issue that a lot of animal rights people would make it to be – its an excellent PR tool tho.

  41. Placebogirl
    Placebogirl August 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm |

    Drahill foie gras is low hanging fruit, but it is fruit nonetheless. I completely agree with you that veal and battery farming chickens and (another example) sow crates are a terrible terrible ill, but that doesn’t make foie gras not-cruel. I truly believe that we need to work toward humane farming practices, and ASAP–and I campaign for those things, eat only free range eggs and organic dairy, and my partner, who is a meat eater, buys free-range.

    The reason force fed foie gras is a low hanging fruit though, is because it could be stopped immediately without a massive upheaval of the food production system that would see many workers lose jobs and low-income people going hungry–and frankly I believe when it comes to cruelty we should err on the side of caution. Essentially I see Anthony Bourdain’s support of foie gras as just another example of the gross arrogance and privilege he has displayed in attacking Paula Deen.

  42. Sanoe
    Sanoe August 31, 2011 at 11:58 am |

    From the article:
    “…butter is really expensive…”

    The most expensive butter I’ve seen at the local was $3.99 for a pound while bulk butter is $5.99 for four pounds. Organic butter can run you $5.60 a pound, but I assume that’s not what the article is referring to.

    It’s more expensive than margarine, milk, or chicken but less expensive than pork, bread, BBQ sauce, or peanut butter.

  43. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

    It’s still more expensive than margarine, milk, or chicken. It’s disingenuous for Deen to go on about how she’s aiming for regular people who can’t afford fancy foods when her meals are pretty expensive.

  44. Drahill
    Drahill September 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |

    Placebogirl: I think we might be coming at this from two different angles – the vegan and the vegetarian. (I am, right now, vegan. I drank whole fat dairy milk during my pregnancy because it was the only damn thing that would alleviate excruciating heartburn – so i consider myself to be currently vegan, but I won’t really call myself one because I haven’t been off the dairy long enough!)

    To me, with the vegan perspective, animal products are cruel. period. organic dairy and free range eggs are cruel to me (less so than battery and gestational crates, but only less so). Now I don’t want to engage in any debate over whether they are or who is actually right (that would be a derail). In “Foie Gras Wars,” one of the things that the author mentions (and that surprised me) was that the vegans who were interviewed (Gene Bauer, ect.) all uniformly did not see foie gras as any crueler than any of the other animal products out there. On the other hand, omnis and vegetarians tended to make a distinction between foie gras and other animal products. I think there’s an inherent difference of viewpoint between vegan thought and vegetarian thought – so maybe that’s why we disagree on foie.

    To the difference between Deen and Bourdian – well, I don’t particularly see how Bourdain is exercising any privilege over Paula. Deen personally is an extremely wealthy woman. She certainly doesn’t cook with foie, but, as Sheezlbub pointed out above, her recipes can be just as pricey because of the high volume of ingredients. Deen is also extremely wealthy because of endorsements – one of which is Smithfield. Now, I make a distinction between Bourdain saying, “Foie gras should not be banned” and Deen putting her face on a Smithfield Ham (yes, her actual face is on the wrapper now – I’ve seen them). Promoting keeping a food legal, to me, is different from promoting a specific company that is notorious for its animal, environmental and worker abuses. But maybe we will just have to disagree on that – I wouldn’t want to derail this thread any further!

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