This weekend's New York Times Magazine was their annual food issue, about a subject dear to TreeHugger's heart: "how the food revolution- from farm to table- is really a story about seeding and savouring communities." Christine Muhlke, in Growing Together, notes the food revolution covers both the scrappy urban farm in Detroit and the upscale farmers market, and that it is not without its issues and conflicts:
Class issues are inevitable with a movement driven by the college educated, regardless if they can sweat $25 for the chicken they believe is the only kind of chicken people should be eating. And the fact remains that those who are growing, distributing and serving this food can't always afford to buy it. The idea of good food for all is still fairly (organic, heirloom apple) pie in the sky.
I kept that thought in mind when I read Michael Pollan's article, The 36 Hour Dinner Party.
I love Michael Pollan, and think him to be more than a writer about the food revolution, but an active radical at the forefront of it. But sometimes one can come off less as a revolutionary and more as an elitist foodie. Here's how The 36-Hour Dinner Party starts:
HERE'S THE CONCEIT: Build a single wood fire and, over the course of 30-plus hours, use it to roast, braise, bake, simmer and grill as many different dishes as possible -- for lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch again. The main ingredients: one whole goat from the McCormack Ranch in Rio Vista, Calif.; several crates of seasonal produce (and a case of olive oil) from Hudson Ranch in Napa; a basket of morels and porcini gathered near Mount Shasta; an assortment of spices from Boulettes Larder in San Francisco; and a couple of cases of wine from Kermit Lynch in Berkeley. The setting: a shady backyard in Napa (but picture suburban subdivision, not vineyard estate), where a big country table stretches out beneath the canopy of a mulberry tree.
It goes on, covering 36 hours with chefs, bakers and the best food and wine that can be purchased at any cost. It was no doubt as wonderful as it sounds. But in an issue that covers Pie Lab and Barry Estabrook's article on oysters, that talks about the importance of making real food accessible to all, it just doesn't fit.
More Michael Pollan:
Michael Pollan on the Food Movement, Rising
Michael Pollan on How No One Cooks Any More
Michael Pollan's Dietary Rules To Eat By
Michael Pollan on What Sustainability is Really About
Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma