Here’s an interesting article from The New York Times, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch” by Michael Pollan, a writer who mourns the death of cooking in America.


As you know from reading The Cooking For Cock Philosophy I believe cooking is important too. It’s healthier than take-out, usually cheaper, and it can score you some pretty amazing cock (see How I Lost My Virginity.) But I don’t believe Pollan’s theory that cooking shows are to blame for the death of cooking and the rise of obesity in North America.  


Pollan asks, “How is it that we are so eager to watch other people browning beef cubes on screen but so much less eager to brown them ourselves? For the rise of Julia Child as a figure of cultural consequence — along with Alice Waters and Mario Batali and Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse and whoever is crowned the next Food Network star — has, paradoxically, coincided with the rise of fast food, home-meal replacements and the decline and fall of everyday home cooking.”


When in doubt? Blame Martha.

When in doubt? Blame Martha.


Pollan goes on to criticize many cooking show hosts, including Martha Stewart for portraying cooking in a high-stress, inaccessible way. Is he serious? If you’re going to blame TV for the fact that no one’s cooking, blame shows like CSI and American Idol; they take up far more “couch time” than say, Top Chef or Martha.


And if Martha seems too high stress, as Pollan argues, maybe it’s because men like Pollan keep talking about her like that.  Aiming for culilnary excellence is nothing to criticize. Personally, I think Martha rocks, and so do her buttermilk corn muffins which I’ve been meaning to blog about.)


If anything my cooking has actually improved thanks to cooking shows and especially food blogs (the latter Pollan doesn’t really address.) With the help of a quick Google search I can figure out how to cook just about anything. Many of my friends rely on the net too and are cooking more because of it. 


That said, Pollan’s right, there is a big problem with the American (and Canadian) diet. But to inspire real change Pollan needs to change the tone of his discourse (“Eating Manifesto?” “In Defense?”)  He’s so stern and fingerpoint-y that I want to rush over to MacDonalds just to spite him. And why I do get so annoyed hearing this lecture from man? Give me a food article in Self Magazine any day of the week. It’s the same message, but more fun to read and with recipes too.


Instead of blaming TV for the American obesity problem, we need food writers and food educators to find creative and sexy ways to spread cooking values. We also need more movies like “Julie and Julia” that make cooking seem as seductive as a new pair of designer shoes. Then Carrie Bradshaw, who Pollan apparently cites as an anti-cooking culprit) would have been a gourmet cook as well as a shopaholic. 


Did Carrie Bradshaw kill cooking?

Did Carrie Bradshaw kill cooking? Or just any progress women have made avoiding emotionally unavailable men like Big?



When women and men realize that cooking is a joy, a seduction (!!!) an escape, a currency and even a status, things will change. We also need to remember that cooking doesn’t just inspire good health, but love too. It keeps friends, lovers and family close. (I know my cooking does.)


With this kind of upbeat positive language maybe more people (men and women) will discover the real joy of cooking. (This is the goal of my blog, )


I blame CSI for killing the American cook.

I blame Horatio Cane for killing the American cook.

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