Months ago, I had the foresight to purchase tickets to a now sold-out lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see a cooking personality talk about food. While my husband liked his matter-of-fact style immediately, it took me a bit longer to warm up to him. Eventually, through his own minimalist approach to cooking what seemed like delicious meals, I warmed up. When I heard he was coming to Boston, I bought the tickets thinking it would be a fun and informative night out for us to share.
Sadly, since the time I purchased the tickets, this cooking personality has started to proselytize for the expansion of government from his New York Times pulpit so loudly that I could no longer disregard his extracurricular activities. In his new column he states not only that veganism is a pie-in-the-sky approach to eating (perfect, merely impractical for this world of imperfect people), but further that government should take a very active role in structuring our food choices.
While I support his educational efforts and his condemnation of corn and soy subsidies, I cannot ignore the fact that he wants to empower federal agencies to ensure the safety of our food supply, going so far as to equate bad food with acts of terrorism in the importance of government intervention -- that he actually wants to expand the role of government through subsidies, provided he's the one who gets to choose them. He gets downright frothy about the idea of using the force of government to control food choices. For all of us. Because he knows better.
You will eat real food.
So, Mark Bittman, in utter defiance of your reason for being, tonight we'll be eating the tickets to your World Subsidy Tour. Rather than sell them, we're going to absorb the cost of sitting on the unused tickets instead of in the seats of your sold-out auditorium. I like the thought of leaving our two empty seats. Whether or not they'll actually be empty doesn't matter too much -- it feeds my soul just to think about them.
Then why am I excited?
Instead of trekking into Boston on this cold, cold evening, to listen to someone wax poetic about compulsory food programs designed to protect me from my own foolish choices, I'm choosing to do very little but be snug as a bug in a rug* watching this subsidized** television show at home:
*A bug in a rug is better than ten million in a bed. I anticipate my trip to NYC with bated breath.
** Just because I'm excited to watch the show does not mean I approve of whatever portion of tax dollars and government fees were used to produce it. Funding for television is another example of how far from its proper role -- the protection of individual rights -- the government has shifted.
P.S. Just heard about an interesting new group whose approach I appreciate:
Keep Food Legal : One thing KFL will never do is advocate in favor of (or against) any particular foods or dietary choices. We believe strongly that adults should eat what they want (or what they and their doctor think is best for them). And we also believe that children should eat what they and their parents think is best for them. Government shouldn’t tell you what to eat, and neither should KFL.