I’ve been following Mark Bittman, food writer for the NYT for a few years, and I’ve enjoyed watching him continue emphasizing pragmatic, healthy, tasty cooking choices while turning up the gas on the ethical questions that underlie food from you next snack to the profit and loss report to McDonald’s stock holders.

Here are three of his recent editorials that are well worth reading and five of his recipes well worth cooking.

“Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?”

Bittman clearly demonstrates with simple math that hyperprocessed food is, in fact, more expensive than options you can cook yourself.

The stumbling block that makes so many people choose chicken nuggets over chicken prepared at home is that cooking is associated with work and is seen as a burden.

More than that, these engineered foods trigger “addition-like neuroaddictive responses.

He has some pretty radical ideas about how to turn this self-destructive trend around.

If you haven’t yet read this article, you can check it out here.

“The True Cost of Tomatoes”

The tomato you pick up in the grocery store comes at a price in the lives of the workers who grow and pick them.  If this article doesn’t get you to your local famer’s market, then I don’t know what will.  Read it here.

“Time to Boycott Tuna Again?”

Americans eat a billion dollars’ worth of tuna a year, and choosing the cans that claim “dolphin-safe” is not slowing the carnage at sea as tuna are caught using “fish aggregating devices that scoop up entire ecosystems.  Bittman is not against canned tuna, just proposes some ways to change fishing practices. Read it all here .

Now that all that mental exercise has worked up your appetite, try these:

  1. Tomato Cobbler
  2.  Vegetable Pancakes 
  3. Roasted Carrots with Cumin 
  4.  Muffins, Infinite Ways
  5.  Pasta Frittata 

Mark Bittman has got it all.  He knows food and food policy.

Who is your favorite food guru? 

6 replies

  1. I couldn’t agree more that fast food is more expensive than cooking. I even make my own lattes now. Investing in a good espresso maker was far less than what I spent on lattes every year. As for food, you need only stock your kitchen with a few standard ingredients and some fresh veggies and you can whip up a quick meal in no time. Don’t know what to cook? Invest in a few good cookbooks and maybe subscribe to a cooking blog or magazine.

    • I totally agree, Lorijo.
      And I think there is something grounding in preparing one’s own food. It keeps one a little more in mind where food comes from.
      I also just enjoy the chance to play with my food. In the summer when the farmers market is in full swing, its really a joy to work with colorful, crisp fruits and vegetables.

  2. I love Mark Bittman too (especially his NYT cooking videos), although I like to think I don’t have a food guru. I manage to put together the pieces that feel right to me, from environmental, policy, taste and health perspectives…gurus always seem to let me down! Eating simple, whole, organic foods that I cook at home seems to keep me out of trouble, but I’m always, always learning. I love the tomato cobbler recipe; thanks for the link!

  3. Thanks for the comment, Eleanor
    I used the term food guru a little bit flippantly. I just like to see some people who have a mass audience using it to promote exactly what you are talking about — eating simple, whole, organic foods cooked at home.
    As for me, I always view recipes as suggestions and have probably never followed one to the letter –but they do expand my possibilities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s