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Not eating

(article, Culinate staff)

Lately, it seems, the thing to write about in the food world isn't food but, rather, the lack of food. As evinced by recent issues of the New Yorker, non-food might come about by choice, as in Elizabeth Kolbert's thoughtful assessment of Jonathan Safran Foer's new book about vegetarianism, or it might come about by circumstance, as in Barbara Demick's searing profile of a woman who escaped — barely — starvation in North Korea. 

This, on the heels of the New York Times' annual food issue, which focused on various ways to not eat: more of Safran Foer, in an excerpt from his book, plus articles on calorie-restricted diets, India's inability to feed its children, and, most depressing of all, an essay by Z.Z. Packer on losing weight via an idiosyncratically finicky diet. (Exercise? That's for athletes, apparently.)

At the other end of the scale, however, the New Yorker also recently featured a profile of Jonathan Gold, a Los Angeles food writer whose specialties are purple prose and eating habits that are both excessive and adventurous. Of course, you might feel ill either way, but it's a relief to see an article about people eating something.

And fortunately, the November 23 issue of the New Yorker is its annual food issue, with stories about poutine, Thanksgiving, conspicuous consuption in China, and more. Get it now and read about food that actually gets eaten.