You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up With Gastroculture

Steven Poole

You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up With Gastroculture

We have become obsessed by food: where it comes from, where to buy it, how to cook it and - most absurdly of all - how to eat it. Our televisions and newspapers are filled with celebrity chefs, latter-day priests whose authority and ambition range from the small scale (what we should have for supper) to large-scale public schemes designed to improve our communal eating habits. When did the basic human imperative to feed ourselves mutate into such a multitude of anxieties about provenance, ethics, health, lifestyle and class status? And since when did the likes of Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson gain the power to transform our kitchens and dining tables into places where we expect to be spiritually sustained? 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
You Aren't What You Eat: Fed Up With Gastroculture

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Food & Drink
Format Hardcover
Pages 208
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-1908526113
Publisher Union Books
 

We have become obsessed by food: where it comes from, where to buy it, how to cook it and - most absurdly of all - how to eat it. Our televisions and newspapers are filled with celebrity chefs, latter-day priests whose authority and ambition range from the small scale (what we should have for supper) to large-scale public schemes designed to improve our communal eating habits. When did the basic human imperative to feed ourselves mutate into such a multitude of anxieties about provenance, ethics, health, lifestyle and class status? And since when did the likes of Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson gain the power to transform our kitchens and dining tables into places where we expect to be spiritually sustained?

Reviews

The Observer

Jonathan Meades

Here is an intelligent, well read, highly educated man with a heightened sensitivity to language having a whale of a time poking fun at a brigade of tocqued unfortunates who are less intellectually favoured than he is, mostly sub-literate people who talk with their frying pans rather as footballers talk with their feet, people who are largely incapable of realising how absurd they appear to those who are not fellow believers.

21/10/2012

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The New Statesman

William Skidelsky

That Poole is a skilled dissector of all manner of food-related guff is hardly surprising: his last book, Unspeak, was a probing study of the contortions of political rhetoric. However, he finds himself on flimsier ground when it comes to the second (and more substantive) plank of his argument, the idea that “foodism” is a corrosive force spreading through western culture … Because Poole starts from the assumption that those who think food is important are in thrall to a dangerous, misguided ideology, he makes no effort to distinguish between serious and trivial approaches to cooking and eating. His book, in essence, is one long sneer.

25/10/2012

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