Thought for Food

Still Life with Dish of Fruit, by Balthasar van der Ast, Staatliche Museum, Berlin, via WikiCommons

Still Life with Dish of Fruit, by Balthasar van der Ast, Staatliche Museum, Berlin, via WikiCommons

“The Roman historian Livy famously regarded the glorification of chefs as the sign of a culture in decline.” So begins this engrossing article in The Atlantic about the problem with food writing. On a similar topic is this essay excerpt from the New York Review of Books.

No, we’re not talking about food porn. Ever since Anthony Bourdain raised his scornful, world-weary eyebrow on the subject - a full decade ago - gastronomes have considered the subject today’s fish-and-chip wrapper. We’re talking food and cultural decline (previously thought to have been caused by rap).

It’s hard to know what Livy would have thought of Jamie Oliver (and even harder to know what Jamie Oliver thinks of Livy). Jamie has, as is well known, become something of an activist in recent times, particularly in relation to schoolchildren’s diets. This article in The New Yorker reports on an increase in recent years of the incidence of food allergies in children. There’s this video of 2010 Sydney Peace Prize winner Vandana Shiva speaking on the politics of food as a guest of the Wheeler Centre. Finally, still on the subject of food politics but closer to home is this Elizabeth Farrelly piece in the Sydney Morning Herald.

If all this doesn’t make you peckish, this might work - a list of literature’s most mouth-watering moments. Bon appétit!

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