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16 February 2011


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Christy Porucznik

The issue arrived a couple of days ago, and I am itching to go to the gym and ride a bike so that I can read it. That is the only way I will ever get through the article!


Well, I can't wait for your perspective, so get to the gym already!

I love the Atlantic. Nearly all our other dead-tree subscriptions have lapsed, but (even though I briefly threatened to unsubscribe when they stopped printing the crossword puzzle) it's the one magazine that persists around here.


I had to read this article because I agreed with the title and suspected I would agree with the content. I was right.

I think there is nothing wrong with considering yourself a "foodie" seeking out different ways to prepare various food. Especially for the SAHM (which I am) it can be a form of creativity.

But these people, really, are just over the top. You can't look down snobbishly on the consumerism of buying frozen peas imported from China, and then worship your locally-grown rappini or whatever. Frankly, it's bad manners and self-absorptive (is that a word?). Worshipping local produce is it's own form of consumerism. It's along the lines of what you said, Erin, when you try to stick to your diet, and yet still be a good guest. (Notably, this is considered a sin in the foodie crowd the author described.)

So are the foodies of this stripe worshipping the food they are eating or the body they are putting it in? Either way it's just plain creepy.


I once read an anthology of food writing from The New Yorker, which included an account of a 36-course dinner the author attended in France. It was like reading pornography -- the adjective-laden descriptions of each course, the physical satiation past the point of reason or taste, and the obscene justifications for such appalling activity. I felt almost physically ill on finishing the essay, which had the effect of making the very thought of food seem abominable. I believe that was the first time that the reality of the sin of gluttony struck me in all its force.

I agree with the article's condemnation of the foodie movement, but notice that the author is inserting some of his own dogmas into the piece -- vegetarianism, it seems, is the environmentally sanctioned position against which the foodies are sinning.


I absolutely agree with MrsDarwin--this article really drives home the perverseness of gluttony. Obscene, to be sure. Certainly, some of the examples include over-eating, which is how we usually think of gluttony. But I think the nearly-pornographic descriptions the author includes of even the smallest tastes of exotic dishes, for example, show this kind of foodie-ism for what it is: a making of something out of nothing, really. Food is a wonderful thing, to be sure. Our life quite literally depends on it. But when it becomes a god in itself, when the quest to reach the pinnacles of foodie pleasure become the goal of one's life...the disorder is apparent.


I heard a sermon from my parish priest a couple years ago about gluttony. Five ways of committing it. 1. Not enough gratitude. 2. Eating too soon. 3. Eating too much. 4. Eating too expensively. 5. Being too picky. That sermon was incredibly helpful to me.

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