Health Concerns

The War Against Ina Garten

The most evil woman on the planet?
The most evil woman on the planet? Photo: Patrick McMullan

Recently, a group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine published a report titled “The Five Worst Cookbooks of 2010” that called out books full of high-fat, high-calorie (i.e., delicious) recipes. The report’s full of zingers! Let’s take a look at what they said about one of the year’s “worst” cookbooks, Ina Garten’s How Easy Is That?:

Ina Garten — host of the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa — can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to vegetables. In her new book, she weaponizes simple, healthy vegetables with high-fat meat and dairy products. Snap peas are laced with pancetta, a processed meat associated with increased cancer risk. Celery Root Puree is spiked with high-cholesterol butter and heavy cream. Recipes for meat dishes, such as Steakhouse Steaks, are pretty straightforward—and so are the heath consequences. In 2010, studies linked meat-heavy diets to increased diabetes risk, weight gain, decreased bone health, and increased bladder cancer risk, among other health problems.

She weaponizes celery-root puree! To our mind, that actually sounds awesome. (And lets us know we’re going to want her on our side when the Armageddon comes.) But so anyway, Eric Felten at The Wall Street Journal is not a fan of this report. He calls it, and the fear mentality related to high-calorie foods, a war on good taste, writing that he isn’t interested in limiting his diet: “What’s the point of civilization, as Fran Lebowitz has suggested, if not to enjoy linguine with clam sauce?”

He also points out that the PCRM isn’t really much for health-advocacy anyway — it’s an animal-rights group: “The organization was founded to promote animal rights, and its horror of bacon and butter has less to do with concern over our arteries than with dismay at the grisly fate of pigs and the unjust captivity of cows.”

So is it nefarious of the group to use fear-mongering as it relates to health as a weapon in its fight to promote veganism? And can anyone really get on the side of a group that tries to vilify Ina Garten, the sweetest woman on the planet?

A War on Good Taste [WSJ]
The Five Worst Cookbooks of 2010 [PCRM]

The War Against Ina Garten