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Le fooding

(article, Culinate staff)

In the April 5 issue of the New Yorker, Francophile contributor Adam Gopnik explores the French food trend known as le fooding, or the movement towards encouraging creative, down-home French fare. Then he branches out to discuss food-reform movements at large. Here are the crucial sections:

bq. The Western world has been filled with food-reform movements in the past 20 years. This proves, depending on your point of view, either that the reform of food has become essential to the reform of life or that, failing in the reform of life, we reform our food instead. Yet all these movements — vegan and whole beast, localist and seasonalist — share a sense that the industrialized, Americanized food economy is destructive of small-scale, European, traditional, farm-based eating.

bq.  . . . In America and England, you are what you think about eating. Tell me where you stand on Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden and (with the exception of a handful of “Crunchy Cons” and another handful of grumpy left-wing nostalgists for whiskey and cigarettes) I can tell what the rest of your politics are. People who are in favor of a new approach to food — even if that approach involves a return to heritage breeds and discarded farming methods — are in favor of a new approach to social life.

Gopnik seems ambivalent about the ambitions of it all, but willing to try the food, at least. The verdict? Not bad.