Tuesday, April 7, 2009

ya' gotta wonder...

hi guys-

so today, robert was out running and i did something i rarely do...i turned on morning tv...to gma and there was paula deen cooking up some of the unhealthiest desserts i could imagine...or even she could imagine (but then again, she did, right?). now nothing personal. paula is a nice woman, even though her southern accent gets more pronounced and louder each season.

after watching i got to thinking. you can turn on any number of cooking shows and be entertained...and even learn a thing or two about cooking...regardless of whether i like what they are cooking most of the time.

but what is the responsibility of tv chefs to the health of this country? like it or not, approve or not, tv chefs have become rock stars and while that's weird, it's true. some, like jamie oliver are using their celebrity to effect change. he works tirelessly to get better quality foods offered in the public schools in england. great work! he also works with underserved kids to give them a chance in the restaurant business...all good...for the world and jamie's karma.

at a time of life when obesity is an epidemic; when diabetes is hurtling through the population both young and old; heart disease and cancer are killing us in record numbers, isn't there a responsibility on the part of chefs who claim to teach us to cook to teach us to make healthier choices? i am not advocating all chefs turn vegan, although that would be nirvana. i am suggesting that perhaps whole sticks of butter along with heavy cream and sugar may not be the best examples of the way america needs to eat. surely, in the case of most of these chefs, one look at the size of their bodies and their bloated faces tells you that they do in fact, practice what they preach, such as it is.

look, i know this is a free country and people may say and do as they like. it's what makes us americans. but on the other hand, anyone who holds themselves up as experts have a responsibility to teach people to make choices that help them, not make matters worse. and you may say that all these cooking shows are just entertainment, but are they? cookbooks sell like mad (mine included...) so people want to cook like the chefs they love. i am just not sure that they want the bloated obesity that goes with that adoration...and i am quite certain that so many of these chefs need to re-examine their message and get on board with helping this country through the health crisis that has made health care such a burden. so much of the disease that plagues us is lifestyle based and can be avoided and alleviated if we just made healthier choices.

if people changed their diets, health care would reform itself.




'RainbowRose' Connie Faulconer said...

I couldn't agree more with you Christina!!! I myself am obese,,,I have in the last year or so lost just a little 50 lbs, and still working on it. I have notices what actually started so much of the weight loss was going vegetarian. Then when I started including more meats again, yep,,,the weight quit dropping and a few lbs started sneaking back on. Soooo I am working back to vegetarian, and actually considering more 'vegan' this time. I still have a little over 100 lbs to loose. I just discovered you on 'create tv' and wish your show was on a little more often, and with a few other 'vegan' shows for people like me who are still learning the 'vegan' way.
Thank you tons for all the recipes you have shared on your website! I hope to one day (or should I say year LOL) to order your recipe book (s).
Thank you again for being such an inspiration to those who need it for not only better health, but a better lifestyle!!!
RRose Connie

christea said...

Welcome back Christina!

You're past two blogs actually have a common thread. The lifestyle/culture in Italy versus the "weirdness" of the celebrity-chef phenomenon in America. I believe the latter is the result of the lack/loss of those European family values which were such a part of the fabric of American culture for so many generations. Celebrity chefs celebrate "mealtime" and that is endearing to most Americans. It is "virtual comfort food". I agree that there is a greater responsibility on their shoulders now, but oftentimes it conflicts with their own self-promotion (identity as a chef).

The more Madison Avenue has promoted bigger, better, faster, got to have it now ... the American lifestyle has not been enhanced. The more media/techno obsessed we became, the more core relationships have suffered. Sitting down together with families for dinner or visiting on the weekends and sharing a meal is an aberration in many American households. Now Americans can "tune-in" for their comfort food and then have to grab something unhealthy because they don't have time to cook.

My two cents .... Happy you are home safe & sound. Keep up the good work. I hope you offer DVD to your new show Create. It isn't on my satellite dish .. sniff!

Laurel Alanna McBrine said...

Hi there,

I just read your book and posted a review on my blog (about living well), www.creativelifeskills.blogspot.com

I totally agree with your post about the unhealthy foods on cooking shows. I would love to see a vegan chef get a prominent show and demonstrate how delicious and healthy food can be! Why go to all that effort to make something that is going to eventually kill you and make you fat and miserable in the meantime.

Laurel Alanna McBrine said...

Hi again,

Oops - I just realized that you DO have your own television show. I live in Canada and perhaps that is why I have never seen it, but I am very happy to know you have been able to present your message this way.

Keep up the good work!


Gweithgar said...

I don't watch any other cooking shows because you have spoiled me for them. If I do catch part of another cooking show I tend to say things like "too much sugar!" or just "oh, yuck!" You definitely have me thinking about food in a whole different way.

My "favorite" commercial these days is the one with the amazingly gorgeous super model sitting on the stoop and wolfing down a double bacon-cheese burger. Like that would *ever* happen! I bet she hasn't eaten anything like that since she was about 6 years old.

Pear Street Studios said...

I sure wish you would blog more often. I love reading your posts!

'RainbowRose' Connie Faulconer said...

Hi Christina,
I have a question about one of your recipes I just seen on create tv,,,
It was on making a ravioli using Kale and pinenuts,,,is there another type of nut that would work for a substitute in place of the pinenuts?
We live on such a limited income, I am barely able to get the 'essential' ingredients. Pinenuts are unfortunately out of the question.
Thanks, again, I too love your shows, and also am getting where, all I see is 'SUGAR' and 'CHOLESTEROL' on the other cooking shows.
RR Connie

kwhite said...

hi there. so im a little overweight..gained a little to much when i was pregnant, and have had a tough time getting rid of the excess... i am not extremely passionate about cooking, but i am extremely passionate about what kinds of food my family eats. i try very hard to buy good quality, organic foods and ignore the junky isles in the grocery store. it is now getting a whole lots easier to make better choices as to what we are eating, and one of my favorite things in the kitchen would have to be my juicer!! buying fruits and veggies is SO cheap! and i think its so funny that my daughter begs for the home made juice and little does she know 90% of that juice is green veggies!!!! however here is my dillema...i eat pretty darn good. way better than anyone i know...but guess what I AM STILL FAT!! so what the heck???! i just watched a tv program of you showing how to cook, waffles, blueberry muffins, and a egg scrambble...replaceing the eggs with tofu. and well now i want that recipe and can't seem to get to it. so i thought what the heck i will just buy the book...well one more problem, i live in canada, and it says you don't send up here...is there anywhere i can purchase your books up here?? a store you can recommend i go and check??

Cindy said...

Hi Christina
Just wondering about that Daikon Carrot drink recipe, can I just use grated daikon and carrots with 1c of water to make that drink? I don't care about the taste I just care that it will get the job done. What are the purposes of the Omeboshi plum, splash of soy sauce and the seaweed in the drink? are they mainly for taste? The omeboshi plum is too hard to find around my area.

Thank you