Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mark Bittman calls Ketchup a real Ingredient

In today's New York Times Mark Bittman makes a version of Ramen with Ketchup.

The following are my thoughts on this.

OK sure you want to make a cheap, quick, easy recipe with things you have around the house. Maybe it's semantics, but I don't think condiments are "real ingredients", I think they are, um, well, condiments. Real ingredients to me are scallions, which he does use as a last minute garnish, and the noodles. He points out that often there is no egg in the egg noodles it's usually just coloring, wouldn't it maybe be a good idea for him to say: "try and find noodles with real ingredients in them, not just food coloring?"

Or offer an option?

One person in the comments section says she replaces them with soba, which I think is a great idea and they are easy to find in healthy version i.e. organic.

Don't get me wrong I like Mark Bittman I just think he wasn't thinking on this one. Or I am crazy and obsessed, but I see no reason to promote food products that are knowingly bad for you. If, indeed we are having a food revolution as the Times just last week talked about how is it that they are still telling people with authority to use ketchup without saying: "buy the organic one made with cane sugar." I mean how hard can that be? Yet again and again it happens. We get all up everyone's butt about buying local and doing all these other potentially esoteric things yet some thing really simple and basic like encouraging the general public to use a good ingredient like tomato past, which to his credit he mentions in the text of the article, but not in the video. Why he even include the ketchup? Why not just use a real ingredient like tomato paste or a small can of crushed tomatoes? I don't get it, we need to change the way we eat and think about food, not coddle people into think that it's still OK to use the same old bad condiments and expect a different result.

Here's what I wrote the Times:

In Mark Bittman's video, "Egg Noodles in Soy Broth", he claims to make ramen with "real" ingredients. In reality he uses conventional ketchup and fails to mention that this condiment in it's non-organic version contains high fructose corn syrup which is genetically modified. It's easy to chart the sharp upward trend in obesity and diabetes in this country to Nixon's corn subsidies and the coinciding laboratory discovery of how to make high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has devastating affects on our health. The impact of genetically modified crops of all kinds have proven to have disastrous effects on our planet. To have the New York Times food guy centering a dish around such a non-food, one that has created an epidemic of obesity, is irresponsible and dangerously misleading.

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