In “Chewing the Scenery,” we round up interesting food-related video from around the Web.
Obesity, it seems, is the popular frame for looking critically of the food system: it’s the respectable pathway through which public figures can criticize industrial food. I wish there were another one. While the expansion of the American waistline is a material fact, emphasizing it, obsessing over it, repeating it endlessly, I fear, reinforces our national obsession with skinniness, unintentionally stigmatizes the very people who have been failed by the food system, and opens space for the food industry to respond with new products speciously marketed as weight-loss panaceas. As a nation, we have a tortured and schizophrenic relationship with food and body weight; a bevy of public figures fixating on fatness underscores that unhappy fixation.
Having said all of that, I think Katie Couric did a great job in this conversation with Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser and former FDA Commissioner David Kessler. Schlosser does himself proud by continually bringing the conversation back to the economic structures that create cheap, unhealthy food.
To see Couric’s hard-hitting CBS News reports on antibiotic abuse in industrial meat production, click the “Chewing the Scenery” link above. Speaking of which, Couric turns the conversation to that topic. It’s great to hear former FDA man Kessler denouncing the practice of dousing livestock with antibiotics; Schlosser, of course, kicks ass in that section,
Kessler also gives the most critical take on GMOs I’ve ever heard from a once-or-current U.S. public official.