Monday, September 27, 2010

NY Times: America Hates Vegetables

Photo: Chris Martin
This weekend a NY Times article titled "Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries" was picked up as Huffington Post's lead story and subsequently around the blogosphere. Frankly, I pity the lot of them—the author and her interviewees. Kim Severson goes to great lengths to support a view that preparing vegetables is hard work, time-consuming and expensive. She writes:
People know that vegetables can improve health. But they’re a lot of work. In refrigerators all over the country, produce often dies a slow, limp death because life becomes too busy.
Now, I'll grant you, at the end of a long day, washing and chopping a head of broccoli can seem like a lot of work, might even seem time-consuming, but... really? She goes on:
In the wrong hands, vegetables can taste terrible. And compared with a lot of food at the supermarket, they’re a relatively expensive way to fill a belly.
If you boil a vegetable until it's dead, it will taste terrible. But to argue that "they're a relatively expensive way to fill a belly" is infuriating. Expensive relative to what? A triple-bypass? She goes on:
...a busy Manhattan resident who works for a pharmaceuticals company, would eat more vegetables if they weren’t, in her words, “a pain.”
“An apple you can just grab,” she said. “But what am I going to do, put a piece of kale in my purse?”
For weeks last March, the NY Times' most popularly emailed article was two simple recipes for that super health food, kale. Or, try an even simpler solution for a single serving on-the-go: Rip a few leaves of kale into bite-size pieces, muddle them with some salad dressing and chill them overnight. The acids in the dressing will "cook" the greens enough to make them a tender snack for lunch the next day. Stick that in your purse.
And the Times' last word? That summary statement is given to an analyst for a global marketing firm:
“Eating vegetables is a lot less fun than eating flavor-blasted Doritos,” said Marcia Mogelonsly, a senior analyst for Mintel, a global marketing firm. “You will always have to fight that.”
I admit that we have serious problems in our nation's "food deserts," where fresh produce is not readily available. And cooking for one person isn't easy, especially if you spend most of your day away from home. And, whether for one or a household, cooking requires planning and work.
This article promotes the idea that fresh-cooked vegetables have to defend themselves and compete in a marketplace with junk food and  panders to an America resigned to the Snack Food industry, deaf to social food movements and hopelessly addicted to greasy boxes of salty transgenic Frankenfoods.
We propose that perfectly cooked vegetables, crisp, juicy, abounding in flavor and nutrition and minimally processed (as is the Guardian Service Way) are incomparable to fast "food" and we invite writers and readers of the NY Times to take 15 minutes and try for themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment