The Cons of Foodie Nation
There are two sides to every coin, last week we looked at the pros of Foodie Nation, today the other side of the coin, the cons of Foodie Nation.
As a Chef, I have my own personal coin; where I need to appreciate a delicious dinning meal at a Michelin Star restaurant, but I also MUST appreciate the burger from the diner down the street with their homemade buns. This is something I don’t find with a lot of people who have jumped on the Foodie Nation Bandwagon. For some reason, it has become a snob fest if you enjoy a meal at a chain restaurant or eat at local diners. For example, I was on an international tour with a group of foodies, and one night we had our option of eating at a fine dining restaurant or getting some local street food, everyone could pick what they wanted. For some of the people on my trip, eating local street food wasn’t good enough; and when multiple people wanted to try the fine dining restaurant that wasn’t good either, there were a few participants who wanted to be the only ones to experience the fine dining meal. Food is meant to bring people together, whether its street food or a fine dining experience, the cost of the meal shouldn’t even be entered into the equation.
Another con of Foodie Nation is the waste, the food competition shows and from home cooking. For example, on a show where they have baskets each round and then a pantry of food to augment their dishes with. If they open a package of pasta but don’t need the whole thing, what happens to the rest of that package of pasta? Do they throw it away, save it and give it to a food bank, or do they add it to other pre-opened pasta packages and make full packages for later rounds? On the baking shows where the competitors have a certain amount of time make a huge cake, when judging is over, what happens to the cakes? Does the audience get to eat, do they donate them to local shelters, or does the trash get them?
As Americans we waste around 40% of the food we buy, we either are overbuying or under-using. Grocery stores won’t put out produce that is perfectly fine, but has a few blemishes on it, so this produce goes to the trash. There are a few companies who sell this produce, so that it doesn’t go to waste. As a Chef, I save all my produce trimmings (carrot peels, celery bottoms, etc) and make vegetable stock out of them or give them to my sister who will give them to her worms for composting. We are shown on TV that if something isn’t perfect, we should get rid of it, which is a shame, because there are so many people who are going hungry who need this food, and should be getting the “not so” perfect cucumbers and bananas.
So here are the two sides of Foodie Nation, the pros, the cons and the in-between.