Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Food glorious food!

By Michael Green - posted Wednesday, 28 July 2010


The great contest of the kitchen is over. For the second year in a row, MasterChef skewered the public imagination. Surprised and gratified parents are ceding command of the stovetop to their children - this can only be good.

And that’s not all. Every time the judges minced through their forkfuls and tenderise contestants with their ambiguous gazes, the nation was reminded that what we eat requires close attention. The show ignited passionate debate from newsrooms to tearooms. It inspired people to cook for one another.

Extrapolated slightly, these are three invaluable cooking lessons: food matters; food is cultural; and food is social.

Advertisement

But the show also had a bitter kick: food is corporate.

I visited a Coles supermarket recently. MasterChef flags cluttered the window and crowded the head space. Cardboard signs cloaked the alarms at the entrance, declaring: “MasterChef has chosen Coles to supply quality ingredients to the pantry.”

Spuds weren’t just spuds: they were MasterChef spuds.

Broad signs arched over each aisle, like banners at the end of a race, spurring the shoppers on: “To cook like a MasterChef cooks, shop where a MasterChef shops.”

But if you care about food, the aisles of a supermarket must not be your finish line - even if they are decorated with the logos of our most popular TV show.

This time last year, before the MasterChef finale, Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs penned a column for the Sunday Age celebrating the show for disregarding “over-cooked moralising about the ‘ethics’ of food”. (The inverted commas are his).

Advertisement

“You get the impression,” he wrote, “that even if a MasterChef contestant used ingredients that were artificially grown in a chemical factory by robot arms, the only thing the judges would be interested in would be taste, texture and presentation. You know, the reasons why we enjoy eating.” (This, I should clarify, was intended as a compliment.)

Another of Coles’ slogans, however, is: “it all counts.” And so it does. The choices we make when we buy our food have a staggering array of consequences, not the least of which is visited upon our taste buds.

Other possible dangers, to list only some, are: obesity, diabetes, animal cruelty, land degradation, chemical runoff, biodiversity loss, climate change, packaging waste, rural social decline and worsening world poverty.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Michael Green is a freelance journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. He writes about environmental, social and community issues and writes a weekly column called Greener Homes in the Domain lift-out of the Sunday Age. He also writes the Roving Eye section on photography in The Big Issue each fortnight. You can find most of his published articles on this website.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy