Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) has an epic new article in this weekend's edition of the New York Times magazine in which he tackles the decline of cooking in America and the rise of food-related television programming. Well worth your time. Here's the essential question he asks:
How is it that we are so eager to watch other people browning beef cubes on screen but so much less eager to brown them ourselves? For the rise of Julia Child as a figure of cultural consequence -- along with Alice Waters and Mario Batali and Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse and whoever is crowned the next Food Network star -- has, paradoxically, coincided with the rise of fast food, home-meal replacements and the decline and fall of everyday home cooking.