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Food Matters to Mark Bittman

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman discusses The Food Matters Cookbook, the follow-up to his bestselling book Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. It includes more than 500 recipes written with Bittman’s typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. He presents a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and junk food.

Guests:

Mark Bittman
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Comments [14]

James Landi

You rock Leonard... why aren't you on XM anymore!!!

Oct. 22 2010 04:18 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Less-meat-a-tarian is fine. Perhaps he should say less-animal-product-a-tarian. Part-time vegan is a bit insulting to vegans. Think of any group with strong convictions, and than tell them you’re a part-time whatever, and see how well that flies. If he doesn’t want to confuse people with veganism or vegetarianism, than he should stop using those terms to describe what he’s doing. “I’m a part-time Republican, but please don’t confuse me with the Republican Party as I fundamentally disagree with their position.” That’s silly. Does Bittman take off his leather shoes during the vegan part of his day?

Tofu isn’t a meat substitute anymore than wine is a blood substitute. Tofu is tofu and can be enjoyed for it’s own sake and in historical Japan, the regional varieties were appreciated like varieties of regional wine.

Imitation hotdogs? Hotdogs are imitation foods in the first place that people shouldn’t be eating very often. What’s the problem if someone enjoys a soy hotdog? It’s certainly a better choice than an industrial pork hotdog.

Faux meat can’t possibly be any more nasty that eating parts of animals, the process of making faux meat is comparable to bread making. Asia has made versions of faux-meat and plant-milks for centuries, so stop with the foodie derision. It’s culturally insensitive.

Vegetarianism isn’t perfect, but by removing pork and fish from the diet, and the industrial practices involved with them, it’s certainly a meaningful step in the right ethical and environmental direction. My guess is that a typical vegetarian contributes less to the concerns Bittman has than his own diet that still includes meat, fish and dairy, just in lower quantities.

Historical vegetarianism have always understood not to go crazy with dairy and eggs use, it’s people who miss the larger point of vegetarianism that make such mistakes like relying heavily on dairy (like Moosewoods cookbook.)

Okay, sure, vegetarianism may or may not be any healthier especially if a vegetarian eats junk food all the time, but on the other hand according National Geographic, the mostly vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda California are the healthiest, longest-lived population in North America. Sure, there are other factors, but their vegetarianism certainly doesn’t seem to work against them. This isn’t measuring blood levels or lab trails, this is looking at birth and death records across the globe and seeing who has lived longest.

Bittman, good work, but just tighten things up a little. Pretty please?

Oct. 22 2010 01:09 PM
Carol from Park Slope

What about farmed Artic Char? It's delicious!

Oct. 22 2010 12:50 PM
Cupcake from Brooklyn, NY

I usually shop the small stores (Joe's Dairy, DiPalo's, Perlandra, Staubitz), but on a recent stop at Key Food, found that the store is turning more and more to prepared food. Is this a concern? Also, how about "flexitarian?"

Oct. 22 2010 12:46 PM
Lorena M. from Harlem

He's right about Coke = cigarettes. Soda is every bit as dangerous as smoking, and it's highly addictive.

Oct. 22 2010 12:44 PM
Home cookin'

I haven't made stock, but I make a wonderful sofrito...peppers, cilantro, sea salt, garlic, oregano.

It's a great base to liven up a meal.

Oct. 22 2010 12:39 PM
Matt

Are there any South Indian recipes in the book? There is a lot of good vegetarian stuff from Tamil Nadu, Karnartika and Kerala.

Oct. 22 2010 12:29 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

I don't eat a lot of meat but I don't think I could ever become a vegetarian (much less a vegan) but i just saw Food inc recently and it was very disturbing....

Oct. 22 2010 12:24 PM
A decent home cook

I cook just about every day, but tend to rely on a handful of meals. The best thing about Mark's column (and especially his videos for the NY Times) is that they encourage me to try new ingredients. As simple as it sounds I had never cooked with fresh ginger. His fried rice recipe changed that.

So, just wanted to express my thanks to him for his work and influence.

Oct. 22 2010 12:19 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nonsense. I've been on the so-called "Atkins" (lo carb) diet for over a dozen years, and meat and cheese are central to my diet. A also eat some lo carb veggies but the fact is grains were only recently introduced into the human diet, a few thousand years ago, and overconsumption of carbohydrates is the main cause of obesity.

Of course, all meats should be fresh and well cooked, needless to say.

Oct. 22 2010 12:19 PM
Laura from Staten Island

My husband gave me this cookbook for my birthday. When I opened it, my first thought was, "Why do I need this? I already have a shelf full of Mark Bittman's various versions of HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING." But, I have to admit that the book has not made it's way to my shelf yet. I am making recipe after recipe, and I totally agree with the philosophy of eating. I am buying most of the ingredients at our local farmer's market. My favorite so far is the Two-pea soup.

Oct. 22 2010 12:18 PM
Laura from Staten Island

My husband gave me this cookbook for my birthday. When I opened it, my first thought was, "Why do I need this? I already have a shelf full of Mark Bittman's various versions of HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING." But, I have to admit that the book has not made it's way to my shelf yet. I am making recipe after recipe, and I totally agree with the philosophy of eating. I am buying most of the ingredients at our local farmer's market. My favorite so far is the Two-pea soup.

Oct. 22 2010 12:17 PM
JP from NJ

Please explain the Inuit diet and after thousands of years why they should stop eating meat.

Oct. 22 2010 12:15 PM
Steve M from Convent Station, NJ

Sounds very similar to the paleo method.

Oct. 22 2010 12:14 PM

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