Friday, October 8, 2010

Foodie Nation

When I was a child TV had Julia Child with her cooking show. Then there was a man named Graham and he had a cooking show in the early afternoon called "The Galloping Gourmet." As far as I can remember the only other time there was food on TV was during commercials. When the Food Network debuted sometime around 1995, people scoffed and said it was ridiculous that an entire network would be devoted to food. Fast forward 15 years later:  CBS, NBC and ABC are fighting for their prime-time lives. Reality TV has taken hold and spilled over like a pot of boiling sugar. The Food Network is going strong, adding a new channel: The Cooking Channel. Shows showcasing the making of food, eating food, critiquing food and explaining food have spilled out over to the travel channel, the 3 major networks, Bravo, and several other networks. 

There are several of these shows that I enjoy. The majority however, I view as food porn. I have found I cannot watch them when I am tired because my mind at that time is too pliable and I start thinking I can eat things I do not eat. There are shows I watch because I enjoy the elements of the show that have nothing to do with the food. When I find myself watching something to see the food - the show goes off. It is like getting Playboy magazine only for the articles. 

Some shows are educational. I have learned some important things that have helped me in keeping the pounds off from some of these shows. Obviously these bits of wisdom have not come from cake decorating and candy making shows. Alton Brown's Good Eats have taught me the science of different foods, which helped me in giving up white flour and sugar. Iron Chef has introduced new seafood, vegetables and fruits into my diet. The show Pizza Paradise . . . no, I do not even watch that. Since I do not eat white flour or cheese there is really no reason for me to watch a show featuring pizza. For me, that would be total porn. (Besides, the BEST pizza in the world is at Sal's Pizza in East Windsor, NJ and if I were to ever go 'off the wagon' it would be to Sal's Pizza that I would go. 

What brought all this up today? Well, I was in Disney's Magic Kingdom and I saw that they are selling a china replica of the original paper cups that they used in WDW when the park opened in 1971. I also see they are selling plastic toy replicas of the many  Mickey Mouse shaped foods for kid's play sets. What is next? Perhaps collectible food statues. If this goes well at Disney World will it be long before McDonald's is selling Big Mac paperweights? Will porcelain hamburgers entice us to want the real thing? Will this help any of us in keeping the pounds off? 


Lauren said...

And the last time you were at Sal's you DIDN'T go off the wagon! I've noticed that, since I haven't had cable at all, I'm not seeing all of the commercials anymore, and my "sweets" intake has gone down, my veggies intake has gone up. Could this have something to do with the larger market for sweet snacks compared to the smaller market for farmed goods - a ratio that I was used to for so long? Possible.

Jane Cartelli said...

Good observation! You really should read "What to Eat." It is an eye opener.