A few weeks ago, Iron Chef Michael Symon sent out a little Tweet about shopping the perimeter of a grocery and avoiding the center aisles (where the most processed foods were). He got a ton of responses, calling him elitist among other things.
Was his comment elitist? Many thought so. In response to his critics, he put out a video here.
It’s worth reading some of the comments that were posted following the post of his video response.
My two cents: I think he’s right on and I don’t see what was so offensive about his original Tweet. Whole foods tend to be located along the parameter of a store, and these foods generally are going to be better for you than some packaged food located on what of the selves in the center aisle.
Some of his critics seemed to have gotten huffy over him encouraging people to cook with whole foods like grains, fruits and vegetables and ignoring the fact that some people can only afford the cheaper prepared meal (say, a can of Spaghetti-O’s for dinner). They also seem to be angered by his encouragement to buy local foods whenever possible.
As many of his defenders pointed out, there are programs to help impoverished people buy local fruits and vegetables, but not everyone is taking advantage of them. They also point out that there are many easy ways to prepare a cheap, wholesome meal (and have leftovers) that don’t include buying something packaged. One responder said it’s pretty darn easy to throw a whole chicken, some carrots, potatoes and rosemary into an oven to roast, and I couldn’t agree more.
Do you have any tips for healthy and cheap eating?