Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mark Bittman's New York Times Platform a Boon for Us All

For the past day, Mark Bittman’s online commentary in yesterday’s New York Times about McDonald’s (lame) attempt at oatmeal has been the most e-mailed article from the paper’s online version.

At the same time that both the Middle East (political upheaval) and our brains (cell phone upheaval) are exploding, Bittman’s savvy attack on the latest McDonald’s ridiculousness is what we are sharing and discussing.

There are many people doing great work trying to fix our very broken food system, but the fact that The New York Times has given Bittman such a far-reaching platform to discuss essential issues is a boon for us all. After just a few opinion pieces, it’s clear that Bittman isn’t afraid of the omnipresent multinational corporations and their dollars:
"There’s a feeling of inevitability in writing about McDonald’s latest offering, their “bowl full of wholesome” — also known as oatmeal. The leading fast-food multinational, with sales over $16.5 billion a year (just under the GDP of Afghanistan), represents a great deal of what is wrong with American food today. From a marketing perspective, they can do almost nothing wrong; from a nutritional perspective, they can do almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates."
I wholeheartedly believe that Bittman’s intelligent and timely work could take the real food movement to a new level, akin to the impact Michael Pollan had with “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” five years ago. Pollan, through his further writings and numerous television appearances, has become the de facto spokesman for the movement. Bittman, I think, has the potential to do the same.

If you haven’t read Bittman's oatmeal piece yet, do so. If you like it, share it; the more people that know the truth about our food supply, the better.

Unlike Mubarak and Qaddafi (maybe), McDonald’s and Gatorade aren’t leaving us anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean they have to be a part of our lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article, read it yesterday.