Food has become more than one of life's great pleasures. It has become a signifier of style, too. The notion that "you are what you eat" extends beyond the the virtues of a nutritious, well-balanced diet. These days, it often seems that you are what you purchase in the supermarket or at the farmer's market; your grocery list is a reflection of your values and your identity. Chefs are as celebrated as designers (move over, Armani, here's Batali!) and eating and entertaining have become haute couture: Food is the new fashion.
--Martha Stewart, writing in the Huffington Post
Leave it to Martha Stewart to say something as preposterously tone deaf as the above quote. There are already far too many ways to show off and compete for status. Must we add food to the “conspicuous consumption” list too--and give consumers yet one more way to separate themselves from their money?
Most readers here at Casual Kitchen would prefer to put healthy food on our tables without worrying if our grocery list is a reflection of our “identity.” We’d also like to eat well without it costing an arm and a leg.
The problem is, there’s a false mentality embedded in Martha’s quote above that produces, in my opinion, three gigantic misconceptions people ingest when they watch food shows and read food media:
* The presumption that healthy food has to be expensive.
* The presumption that your food is a signifier of your social status.
* That presumption that there is some “style barrier” to eating well: that a simple meal, made capably in your home, somehow isn't enough anymore.
None of the above statements is true. Not even close.
Look, I understand that, as human beings, we naturally compete for status among our peers. But could we maybe try and leave food out of it?
Readers, what do you think?
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