This is What I Believe

1. I believe that food matters. Everything about it, from how it was grown, how it was prepared (with resentment or love? patience or hurry?), how it was consumed (with fear or with gusto?). It all counts.
2. I believe that what you put in your body is more important, and worth more time, effort, and money, than what you put on it. (Which is not to say that I don’t love beautiful clothes—because I do.)
3. For reasons I can’t quite explain, I think it’s important to prepare your own food. At least sometimes.
4. I believe that people who work in restaurants lie about using MSG. Scratch that: I know they do.
5. I believe that when people say they hate a certain food, it’s because they haven’t had a good version of that food. The only exception to this rule is Colman Andrews, who is the best food writer there is, and in many direct and not so direct ways has shaped the way we think and write about food, claims to hate eggs. Seeing as how he is lavished with the best dishes that chefs have to offer in the best restaurants in the world, I have to think that he has in fact been presented with good eggs, cooked well. I don’t, however know that he has tried them. I think he is just stubborn.
6. I think that Americans make better Italian food than Italians. So sue me.
7. I also think that American coffee is better than espresso.
8. Though I do believe that eating is a sensual pleasure, and that eating with someone you love is an important ritual in any kind of relationship, I do not think that food has any business in the bedroom. (Except maybe crackers in bed.) Show me a woman who really and truly wants hot fudge licked out of her belly button and I will show you a woman who just wants to be loved.
9. I think that if parents quit negotiating with their children about how many bites of food they eat, the children would not starve—and we’d all be the better for it.
10. I believe that if you are going to eat animals, you should be willing to admit that they are animals, and to look that fact in the wild green eyes. Taking an animal’s meat off the bone, removing its skin, packing it in Styrofoam, and blanketing it with sauce after it has been cooked doesn’t mean said animal was not a live, thinking, breathing, loving animal before he was your dinner.
11. I believe that being “into” sustainability is like smoking pot but not inhaling. You have to commit. Anything short of that is decoration. A Chino Ranch Alpine strawberry atop your lemon tart does not sustainable make.
12. Along those lines, I believe that The City Bakery is one of the best places on Earth.
13. I believe that Oprah will never keep her weight off as long as she eats low-fat foods.
14. I believe personal trainers and nutritionists, like pharmaceutical drug companies, perpetuate a way of thinking that is ultimately harmful to our physical and emotional well being.
15. I believe that any good dish prepared with foam, Pop Rocks, or cotton candy would be better without it. Or at least just as good.


One thought on “This is What I Believe

  1. God love you. And we’ve probably had this conversation, but I’ve always strongly felt that describing food with sexual metaphor is the laziest —and most dishonest and uncreative—food writing there is. Yes, food is sensual, pure pleasure. But great chocolate cake is not better than great sex. It just isn’t.

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