It started at Michael Ruhlman’s site (which is up to 468 comments) with Anthony Bourdain’s take-down of the Food Network.
Then it moved over to Elise’s Simply Recipes, where I felt compelled to add my 2 centimes worth….
“I’m curious when people say they appreciate these time-saving cooking shows. But really, how long does it take to make good food? A roast chicken can be tossed with a broken up head of garlic and some herbs in less than 30 seconds. And how many seconds does one save by opening a bottle of pre-made salad dressing as opposed to mixing together a few spoonfuls of olive oil & vinegar? Is it really that much easier to rip open a box of cake mix than to drop a stick of butter in the mixer, add some eggs, then stir in some flour?
And doesn’t homemade foods taste better, and is far healthier for you (and much less-expensive), than all those convenience foods? Other than as a gimmick, I don’t see how how saving a few minutes is really worth sacrificing your family’s health and well-being for by using all these processed foods. While I don’t begrudge any tv chefs cooking with real ingredients, it’s quite a disservice to spray things with aerosol cheese and call it dinner.”
While I realize that everyone’s busy (and I’m sure to get some remarks that not everyone gets to live in Paris), I wonder what people are doing where they don’t have time to eat anymore. When I moved to France, they practically had to nail me in my chair to get me to sit down and have a decent meal. I was so used to eating on the run (in my car, in the shower, etc…) But cooking and eating are two of the most fundamental things that human beings do, but what’s happened to us if we can’t do them anymore?
I feel bad when people tell me they don’t have time to cook.
Not everyone has the luxury of going to an outdoor market like I do and doing their shopping, then taking the time to prepare a proper meal three times a day. Especially in these days of multiple jobs and kids running underfoot. But surely stopping in the supermarket, picking up some chicken and vegetables, and roasting them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper for an hour takes marginally more time than dumping cans into a saucepan. And isn’t it far tastier and more nutritious, and cheaper than pre-packaged foods you’d heat up in a microwave? I can’t believe that popping frozen waffles in the toaster and dousing them with artificially-flavored syrup really easier, less-expensive, or better for anyone than a few slices of toast with butter and honey.
Why are these programs so popular?