Chef and food activist Dan Barber, writing in The Nation recently, had a goofy, radical, off-the-wall idea: we need to learn how to cook. “A lack of technique behind the stove is as complicit in harming human health and the environment as the confinement pig or the corn-fed steer,” he boldly claimed. And author Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food), writing in the New York Times, notes the irony of our fascination with wildly popular celebrity chefs and TV cooking shows (even an entire food cable network!):
“How is it that we are so eager to watch other people browning beef cubes on screen but so much less eager to brown them ourselves? For the rise of Julia Child as a figure of cultural consequence — along with Alice Waters and Mario Batali and Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse and whoever is crowned the next Food Network star — has, paradoxically, coincided with the rise of fast food, home-meal replacements and the decline and fall of everyday home cooking.