This sharp piece from Slate’s LV Anderson brings class angst to the fore, and while I don’t envy her target — Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef who entertained us by descending on America’s fattest town with dancing flash mobs brandishing woks and utensils—I am flattered to be held in esteemed company:
But his gaffes are evidence that Oliver is certainly not the right person to try to teach working-class people good eating habits, nor, I would argue, is anyone who doesn’t actually have any personal experience of poverty. Upper-middle-class foodies should certainly work toward changing the food system and improving access to healthy foods in impoverished neighborhoods. But swooping in with television cameras to save the day—as Oliver has—is not the way to do it. They ought to take a lesson from those who know what it’s like to live without much money—people like Andreou, The American Way of Eating author (and Slate contributor) Tracie McMillan, and urban farming pioneer Will Allen, the son of sharecroppers. All three write with the kind of detailed understanding and real sympathy so conspicuously lacking in Oliver’s comments.
Thanks, LV, and hoping to write for you guys at Slate again soon!