Provocative, erudite, and hilarious — the first full-length broadside at food fetishism to be published in Australia
We have become obsessed by food — where it comes from, where to buy it, how to cook it, and, most absurdly of all, how to eat it. Our television screens and newspapers are filled with celebrity chefs, whose authority and ambition range from the small scale (what we should have for supper) to large-scale public schemes designed to improve our communal eating habits.
When did the basic human imperative to feed ourselves mutate into such a multitude of anxieties about provenance, ethics, health, lifestyle, and class status? Since when did the likes of Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson gain the power to transform our kitchens and dining tables into places where we expect to be spiritually sustained? And why do we take seriously the often mindless prattle of food writers and purveyors?
In this masterful polemic, Steven Poole argues that we’re trying to fill more than just our bellies when we pick up our knives and forks, and that we might be a lot happier if we realised that sometimes we should throw away the colour supplements and open a tin of beans.