walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Raj Patel, Evan Kleiman, AfterWords on C-Span

After watching the latest Doctor Who ("Midnight"), I'm trying very hard to watch Patel/Kleiman discuss the food industry. I'm having some of the same problems I'm having with his book, _Stuffed and Starved_. I keep thinking that something is wrong that I really want to go after people who ostensibly are saying things I completely agree with. It can't be the accent -- Patel and Kleiman have very different accents. Racial diversity, check. Gender balance, check. Why do I want to smack these people?

Well, partly because while Patel is relatively sensible about why Americans eat so many fast food meals in their cars (they're working two jobs, taking care of kids and have long commutes), Kleiman just seems to be mocking the fact that people don't cook any more. Then there's the fact that apparently Patel got through his academic years fueled by Red Bull with the occasional salad -- and is now talking up Slow Food in its original Italian format. I mean, could we _find_ a balance somewhere between the two, something that maybe could be sustainable for large groups of people in a variety of life circumstances?

If someone were willing to talk about how, hey, down this path? You won't be having any children because (a) you can't afford them (b) you don't have the time for them and (c) it fits all too well with some seriously bad gender expectations, I'd be less annoyed.

They even talked about elitism as an issue, but

Oh, I heard a thump. Back later.

ETA: they did talk about elitism as an issue, in that, they are likely to be perceived as elitist, what can we do about that. There's _some_ awareness. But there are big problems when Kleiman thinks it's weird that supermarkets were invented, and more or less implies that somehow the counter-service grocers that preceded them were more "natural". *sigh*

And then talking about spending more time preparing food as being a pleasurable activity? Okay, I _love_ to cook. I really do. I even love the day to day. But having to spend hours every day cooking isn't a case you make based on pleasure. At least, not if you want a substantial, relevant audience.
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