About Angie


  • "God keep me from what they call households."

  • --Emily Dickinson

  • Sprich auch du,

    sprich als letzter,

    sag deinen Spruch.

    --Paul Celan

What I'm Reading Now


Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds

Life

Videos


  • Tsujiki Fish Market Auction

« The piglets are here! | Main | Eat In--Act Out! »

July 05, 2006

Comments

Kirk

Hi Angie - I think the word "defend", is quite strong, but so be it. The hardest part is to make people care. Great post....

Alice Q.

This is really interesting. I said in an earlier comment that I'm a "slow foodie" and I do believe in the ideals behind the movement, but I was actually disappointed when I joined the organization itself. I joined a couple of years ago, but did not renew my membership after the 1st year. (I was thinking about doing so after reading Angie's last post - but now maybe not!)

On some level though, I have to say I just don't buy the argument that people who don't make a lot of money can't afford to buy good food. The bigger problem is that they don't have time for meal preparation, their meals are dictated by their kids' tastes (Mc Donalds, etc.) and they eat on the fly. I agree that the elitist nature of Whole Foods is annoying - but that's not the only place to shop for fresh produce or local products. There are lower cost alternatives, such as farmers markets, Henry's and Trader Joes. Even fresh food from the local grocery store would be better than what most people eat.

I also find the comments you made about the reasons you stopped blogging, and Kirk's comments about his blog very interesting. I was really surprised by Kirk's comment that he doesn't write about certain restaurants because he's more interested in what the Average Joe can eat. I can't believe he's depriving us of his insightful reviews of these places! Kirk - why do you assume "average" people wouldn't be interested in reading your great reviews no matter where you eat? Maybe I'm not the average reader, but I certainly would!

My blog is focused entirely on local businesses (Southern Cal) and I promote humanely raised and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. I struggle with the elitist thing too, but mostly I try to make it interesting and fun. I hope it appeals to people both inside and outside of San Diego, and influences people to care more about local foods, local businesses, humane treatment of animals and sustainable agriculture, both here and in their own local communities.

Alice Q.

Angie - I looked for an email link on here but I didn't see one. I wondered if I can get the code from you to put the Meatrix link on my blog? I am also planning to go to the Slow Food thing in late August at Orfila. I never attended a local event when I was a member and I'd like to check it out. Heck, maybe the best way to fight snobbery in Slow Food is to get more involved! :-) I also want to look into the Roots organization. I am a member of the local Junior League, which is promoting food and nutrition education for kids, so it might be a good idea to put a project together at some point!

Kirk

Hi Angie - I'm not meaning to monopolize your comments, since I thought your post is well thought out and meaningful.

But first - and most importantly! I don't do reviews, my site is, very simply put, this is what we ate, and this is what we thought of it...I'm not a food writer, I'm a food eater. I put out whatever the heck I want on my site. And personally, though I enjoy Parallel 33, there are at least 20-30 very good reviews on it. If something strikes my fancy, maybe I'll do it. But you don't need me to tell you what you can have at Tapenade, there are so many "reviews" of it, but then again, do you know about Bun Mam? Or Bun Bo Hue? Or what Tonkotsu style ramen is, or that Yamaimo is that secret ingredient of good okonomiyaki?

As for slow food, or at least the idea! I'm all for it. I meant the email as a way of playing devil's advocate. But, it's very hard in this day and age for a dual income family(and maybe someone has two jobs), trying to survive, whose children have been indoctrinated...to make the extra effort, to spend the extra money, to understand the impact of the choices they make. It starts with education, but at times it seems that a real "glitzy marketing approach" of celebrity chefs and big events is the way of promoting the movement, without thinking that this may end up alienating the population who would need the information the most.

Ask me about slow food, and I'll tell you....when I was a kid, my Grandparents who were first generation Japanese immigrants, who never spoke English, lived on a house on plantation property. And when I used to visit(at one point, there was no indoor plumbing...and even a furo - a community bath), they'd wake me at 5 am to pick papaya, banana, or mango off the trees for breakfast. If we wanted edamame, we'd go pick it in the back yard, not get it from the frozen food section. That is slow food. You are constantly up against the belief that convenience, and instant gratification is better, in all that we do - think about your driving habits; do you cut through lanes, weaving in and out of traffic, to reach your destination 2 minutes earlier, why? We live in a time, of high speed this, and instant that.......
Sorry to go on ad nauseum.....

honkman

Alice,

I am just curious why do you think that WholeFoods has an elitist nature ? I completely disagree with that point. They might be relatively expensive but that is rather normal with organic food (and people should get used to it.). For that reason I don't think you can compare them with Henrys and TJ which have much less organic food. Henrys for example has a lot of fresh fruits/vegetables but hardly anything is organic, same with the meat which is often named "natural" which alot of people think is the same as organic but that is not the case.
And your argument "The bigger problem is that they don't have time for meal preparation, their meals are dictated by their kids' tastes (Mc Donalds, etc.) and they eat on the fly." is the standard sentence in the US I most often hear people complaining but has hardly anything to do with reality. Coming from your Europe with a quite different development regarding food and the importance of food I think the main problem is the missing education about the importance of food (and other issues regarding life which I won't discuss because than we will go far beyond food) a lot of people in the US are missing. The assumption that people don't have enough time for meal preparation is wrong. The problem is again that they never learned the importance of food and they see eating just as a necessity but nothing related to joy. And since when are "their meals dictated by their kids' tastes" ? If this sentence is serious I don't hope you have children. Children should never be able to dictate something if it is bad for them. Parents have to educate their kids about food and train their taste but since they never got themselves the adequate education it will never happen.
Discussion about slow food and related stuff is completely missing the point. Slow food or not has no meaning to solve the problems discussed here and show IMO that people don't see the real problem: A lousy educational system.

Alice Q.

Honkman - Personally, I love Whole Foods, but it annoys me that it seems the approach of the store is to cater to upscale customers. Good food should be available to everyone, not just yuppies. I disagree with you on the kid thing and time issues - obviously, or I wouldn't have said what I said. Improving the educational system would be a great way to solve these problems. What are you doing to make that happen? "Be the light you want to see in the world" - isn't that the quote?

Kirk - My comment was meant to be flattering, not bossy or insulting - maybe it didn't come out right. I just like your honest straightforward writing about what you eat, and it would be nice to see that applied to those other places. Your blog is unique and interesting because you provide different information from what everyone else is doing. To each his own - that's one of the great things about blogging!

Angie - Thanks for such a thought provoking post. It inspired me to be a little more pro-active, starting with ading some links to my page including the Meatrix and the Roots Project. I'm done now - I promise!

Kirk

Hi Alice - Truly, no offense taken. We each have our own unique approach, which makes things fun. And maybe the next time we go to one of those restaurants(I'm thinking El Biz), I'll drag my camera along....

Angie

Alice:

Thanks for responding. I didn’t want to jump in too soon because I wanted to see where the comments would go, but I’m excited to see this dialogue taking place. That was my intent in writing the post. And I hope you are not done—keep going!

I was going to respond to your inquiry about the Meatrix link, but I see you have it up on your blog already. Nice! http://www.aliceqfoodie.blogspot.com/


Honkman:

Sure, parents play a huge role in educating their kids about food and taste. The educational system also plays a part and we are slowly waking up to the fact that the food served in American schools is shamefully inadequate. It’s criminal how little we spend on education, in general, and school food, in particular.

But isn’t Slow Food part of the solution, too? Their mission is to teach us about the pleasures of the table, to remind all of us (parents & children) to slow down and reconnect with our food.


Kirk:

Don’t worry, you are not monopolizing the comments. I agree your site is your own and you should put up whatever you want on it. I think you are excellent at covering hole-in-the-wall places, the type of restaurants that the magazines and newspapers ignore. You are doing an incredible job of educating us about Asian food. I’m grateful that you take the time to check out all the restaurants that I drive by (and wonder about) but rarely have time to actually eat in. But now you've got me intrigued--how would you cover Tapenade or El Biz? :-)

I understand your point about the celebrity chef/glitzy events. These are not the only type of events they hold, but unfortunately these are the ones that tend to attract public attention.

Your description of your grandparents echoes what I was saying earlier about the difference between our generation and theirs. They didn’t need a movement like Slow Food. I wish we didn’t either. (And I would happily wake up any day at 5 if I could pick a fresh mango off a tree!)

As Jay points out on his blog, http://thelinkery.com/blog/?p=219, he is already doing his part to celebrate and use local food in his restaurant. Obviously he doesn’t need to be a member of Slow Food to do that. But, for the rest of us, who may not know much about traditional foods, it’s a valuable resource. I’m glad they are there reminding us, teaching us about these foods before they disappear.

It’s a good place to start. Now it’s up to each of us to carry on and carry out that mission in our own way.

Kady

Fascinating post. My husband and I were JUST talking about this today. I complained that I wanted to eat purely organic and humanely-raised foods but that we can't afford it and may never be able to. If I could always eat slow food I would. While I am a definite foodie and a snob of sorts, I am not one of those fortunate bloggers who travels and eats at expensive places. Until recently we didn't eat out more than once a month at most.

I think the key is to make slow food catch on. It seems that the prices would go down if consumer demand was high for that kind of product. Honestly, I'm not sure what the key is to getting people to toss aside their fastly prepared, processed foods in exchange for high-priced fresh foods.

Hopefully someone will figure out the answer soon.

Carol

Hi Angie. you posed the question about how many people remember hearing stories of grandparents canning, making preserves, etc. although I'm a few yrs older than you, I had a vegetable garden for 17 yrs from which I canned green beans, salsa, tomato juice, & stewed tomatoes for winter soup. It was just a small suburban garden plot, maybe 20 by 8'. As you know we moved into a MUCH smaller home and lot 2 yrs ago, but I haven't given up on canning and preserving. I just use our local "farmers market" to buy the produce. While I miss the space around my other house, part of our reason for moving was to stop the energy waste from mowing a huge yard, driving a minimum of 8 miles to get to anything, and of course heating and cooling that house. I think my love of canning and preserving came from our grandmother and my mom, who by the way, STILL puts up a whole lot of produce every summer!

The comments to this entry are closed.