Everything but the stomach staples

“Fat Land”
Greg Critser (Houghton Mifflin)

Until I read Greg Critser’s scarifying “Fat Land,” I thought I had pegged all the vices behind the Macy’s ballooning of America, from fast-food gluttony to TV-remote sloth. Who knew I was part of the problem, as one of those food writers in the Eighties and Nineties who caved to magazine editors who were caving to their fat-free advertisers?
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Attention, shoppers

My most literary friend, a novelist who puts his advances into tangibles, once asked me, after yet another inflated check for yet another mediocre meal in still another trendy restaurant: “Don’t you ever eat in a dive?” I recall getting rather huffy but then conceding, “No, not in the alleged First World.” Let’s be serious. I was toilet-trained in an outhouse; I was weaned on beans and cornbread off a wood-burning stove — I need a certain level of comfort with my food anymore. But clearly I’m much less choosy with books, since I thoroughly enjoyed one most creme brulee eaters would write off as so much Colombo frozen yogurt. Continue reading