NYT Mag "Food Issue" a powerhouse

Categories: News

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The New York Times Magazine published its annual "Food Issue" over the weekend, a solid array of foodie fare -- from a short piece on Mark Bittman's "very George Jetson" (as one CEO said) ideas about online grocery shopping to a supershort article on author ZZ Packer's wacky eating habits (she only eats fries that are touching her burger) to a Q&A with healthy eating guru Hungry Girl and a great, refreshing cover profile on Jamie Oliver.

If you're going to read just one, read the Jamie Oliver feature, a quick and easy read on the affable, approachable, bootstrapping chef, focusing on in-the-works show spotlighting Huntington, West Virginia, part of what has been designated as the unhealthiest metropolitan area in America (nearly 50 percent of its population is obese).

It's nice to read because Oliver really truly seems committed to helping people make healthier choices. He truly believes, contrary to what his pub-owning father always told him, that you actually can create a silk purse from a sow's ear, meaning, for him, that people can evolve and change and improve.

Effortlessly charismatic, he has an easy warmth -- happy to shake hands or pat a back, though he takes the business of listening to people quite seriously. When he finds a kindred spirit, a sharp focus, an open mind, he leaps, immediately connecting. He is genuinely polite, which is in itself so rare that it is genuinely winning. Though he is still hyperactive -- if he's standing he's pacing; if he's sitting, a leg bounces -- his mind seems insatiable.
Aww. (Right?) Plus, he walks the talk -- he's pretty single-handedly responsible for a $1 billion infusion towards improvements to the UK's school lunch program.

Michael Pollan's collection of food wisdoms is great, and the funny "why Mexican Coke justs tastes better damnit" article is worthwhile too, and quick. (But sorry Jonathan Safran Foer, I just can't stomach you anymore.)

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