The Gospel of Food

A new book by Barry Glasner rips to shreds the dogmas of the food world. Without intending to, Glasner may have created Exhibit A in the case against science by social deconstructionists. So flawed, and full of bogus citations are the literature on the health effects of certain foods and certain diets as to be meaningless.

This, Glasner shows, have sucked the joy out of eating for most Americans. Glasner also lampoons the crypto-mystic search for the “pure” and “genuine” ethnic foods by the cosmo-elite, and shames the “food imperialists” who have the gall to lecture the poor and starving on what they eat.

If only conservatives knew that the best antidote to Volvo-driving, sushi-eating liberalism is not Ayn Rand, but Karl Marx. Glasner proves that in this book.

One of his best examples is to show how the labor-left and its affiliates have orchestrated a virtual war against companies like McDonalds, while leaving virtually untouched the sweat shops that are most “ethnically genuine” restaurants.

This latter point rang especially true with me because of my profession and some of my clientele, I happen to know that ostensibly high-end restaurants are some of the worst violators of wage rights, whereas the managers at Taco Bell and McDonalds can practically recite the wage laws from memory.

Glasner is a sociologist, so perhaps he is putting too much explanatory power in social theories, but it is hard to deny that people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a McDonalds also seem to have no problem with the food Starbucks serves. Indeed, if people like me pick on Starbucks, it’s not for their food, it’s for being a “big corporation.”

Most importantly, he explodes the myths surrounding the obesity “epidemic,” something not too different from killer bees, the bird flu, and other adult bogeymen. Most of the so-called science linking obesity to heart disease is bogus, and there is little to affirm the connection.

Glasner doesn’t dismiss or oppose the slow food movement, or organics (which he also effectively takes apart in a large way), but simply seems to doubt of their efficacy for the whole mostly starving population.

Wonderful book.