Showing posts from June, 2008

Quick Food or Fast Food?

Fast food gets a (deservedly) bad rap; a fact I have whined about mightily in this blog and further cemented in my new favorite book entitled “The Ominivore’s Dilemma”. (Yes, I’m a tad late to some parties.) The ingredients in fast food are far from genuine, most are extracts of entirely different and significantly cheaper substances that simulate the taste and/or smell of the intended flavor. For example vanillin is a curious by-product of making paper, spent yeast smells a bit like beef and is a major “flavoring agent” of nearly every canned soup and beef stock on the shelf; a fact about which I have mixed emotions given the apparent environmental impact of real beef.

Fast food aims to be “tasty”, not delicious, engineered by teams of food chemists who have turned to the dark side of “molecular gastronomy”. Fast food is adequate, not wholesome, utterly convenient by requiring zero planning or forethought, and is mindlessly-affordable. “Reasonably-flavored, convenient, cheap food” is …