Wednesday, July 9, 2008

AB, Food Hero

For many years I've been a fan of Alton Brown. I find his quirky presentation style entertaining without significantly detracting from the core concepts of preparing good eats. Combine that with my incredible geekiness and love of knowledge and learning, and Alton is pretty close to a hero of mine. Roz Cummins of recently had the opportunity to interview Alton and discuss a new direction that he's planning to take his signature show on the Food Network.

At the Cooking for Solutions conference held at Monterey Bay Aquarium, AB offered that he would be adding a focus on how crops are grown and animals are raised to his show. He credits his daughter as a major influence on his thinking about such issues, and hopes that the cachet he's built over the years can be used to have an influence on the foods people choose to purchase. As he points out, cost is the most important factor in almost any purchasing decision, even food, and this emphasis on cost devalues, and in my opinion, endangers, what we eat. Knowing what we eat and how it was raised and accepting responsibility for the system that raises and slaughters is a big step, a "chicken moment."

Later in the interview, Roz asked if he would serve on a GreenPeace boat to help raise awareness of illegal fishing in reaction to his bold (rash?) statement "Somebody needs to sink the Japanese tuna fleet. Everyone's willing to point the finger, but nobody's willing to pull the trigger." While he indicated that he would, he has taken the time to clarify this position with a followup note to the Grist site. Essentially he states that he doesn't necessarily agree with all of GreenPeace's positions or methods and his response in the interview was not an endorsement.

Oh, and if you like mussels, it seems any article about AB has to include a recipe of some sort. It's at the bottom, just before the commenters begin vigorously debating the merits of vegan/vegetarian diets and omnivorous ones.