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Why We Dine by John Mariani

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ELV note: In the wake of the horrors of last week, our friend John Mariani re-posted an article he wrote after 9/11 about why dining is so important to the human condition. We thought it bore re-visiting, along with a commentary we did on KNPR-Nevada Public Radio at the time, to remind all of the regenerative and soul-enriching effects of a good meal. For, as our other award-winning-restaurant-writing friend Alan Richman is fond of saying: “Food is life itself; the rest is parsley.” L’chaim!

After watching the horrors the people of Boston and the marathoners suffered this week at the hands of terrorists and reading that dozens of Boston restaurants closed up for security reasons, I was reminded of what I wrote (originally in The Financial Times) about the days following the agonies of 911. I thought it appropriate to reiterate my sentiments as applicable to the current tragedy in Boston.

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Michael Pollan’s New Rule

Photo: Ken Light

It’s simple really:

“Don’t buy any foods you’ve seen marketed on television.”

In an interview this week with New York Magazine’s Adam Platt, food guru  (he hates the term, btw) Michael Pollan has this to say about Big Food:

…it’s very hard to stay ahead of the food industry. When I first published Food Rules, I said, “Don’t buy any processed foods with more than five ingredients.” Within a year, there was a Häagen-Dazs ice cream called Five. There was a Tostitos commercial on TV where this woman is buying chips for a party. She picks up a bag and says, “There are more ingredients here than I have guests coming to my party.” And then she reaches for Tostitos, which only has three ingredients. None of them particularly healthy, but only three ingredients. So I added a new rule: Don’t buy any foods you’ve seen marketed on television.

ELV loves this rule, obviously, and thinks it is a perfect companion to:

ELV’s Immutable Axiom (#137): The more a food is advertised on television, the more worthless it is.

Exhibit #1: Coca Cola.

Exhibit #2: Any and all diet foods.

Exhibit #3: American mega-brewed beer.

Exhibit #4:

http://media.fooducate.com/blog/posts/cheetos-girl-in-bath.jpg

(Feel free to add to the list in your comments below.)

The prosecution rests.

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