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Nation’s Got Back: The Food Network’s Evil Scheme August 1, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Pop Culture Rants, TV.

We’re getting fat. And I ain’t talking Chris Tucker or Mo’Nique “Phat,” but all out waist busting, stretchy pants wearing, sweating when breathing fat. Is it the fast food companies? Nah, because until the crime wave of gun toting kids threatening to kill you if you “don’t eat this Quad Stacker and fries” surfaces, we’ll survive. Is it the glut of distractions we have at our disposal? Nah, because they’re putting TV and Ipod readers in gyms and most of the people I see there look like they’re trying out for the Lindsay Lohan look-alike pageant. The reason may shock you, or at least my reason might. This country is going to Chunk in a Chunkbasket because of the Food Network.

The network itself started in 1993 and rumor has it that it was started by a few disgruntled overweight chefs who wished to spread (no pun intended) their knowledge and body type on this unsuspecting nation. They devoted 24 hours a day (Well, 22 or so because you have to buy the bills with two hours of infomercials involving cutlery and space-age medicine balls) to food prep shows, food history shows, food cooking shows, food sitcoms, food reality shows and even food musicals (Rutabaga!: The Musical). And the public ate it up (This time, pun intended.) And before we knew it, the joy we felt immersing ourselves in all things gastronomical was replaced with confusion over why are pants didn’t glide on like they did a few months earlier.

Before 1993 and back in the thinner, crazier drug fueled haze of the 1970’s cooking shows were simpler and farther between. You had stalwarts like Julia Child and her shoulder pads. She looked less like a world renowned chef and more like the starting tight end for the Giants. Her voice was high pitched and sing-songy, almost the auditory equivalent of those googly-eyed puffy stickers you used to get on your vocabulary tests when you scored 100%. And even though you could barely make it out, you knew she was using ingredients that were too fancy to be cooked on the cookie cutter stoves that blanketed America. So, it wasn’t a show you tried to emulate. You watched it and it was like going to a strip club: it looks great, it’s something you wish you could have, but it’s merely flaunted in front of you and you are left with an empty stomach (among, um, other things.) You also had “I Gar-on-tee” Justin Wilson who had a kooky voice all his own, yet his was not high and lilting, but sounded like every word out of his mouth was run through broken glass. He looked like your grandfather, if you grandfather wore the tablecloths at the local BBQ joint. While his dishes were more accessible, the ingredients were rarely available outside of Louisiana and you just knew when he cooked rabbit that the buckshot was still rolling around on the edge of your plate. These two were entertainment, not a by-the-book tutorial. You dreamed you could be those people, though maybe working on the vocal delivery.

So our nation was thin and happy. While I cannot confirm or deny it, I really think there were two overweight people before 1993 and that was those two mini-bike riding twins I saw in the Guiness Book of World Records. And then the Food Network dropped. The shows were different from the cooking shows of the previous generation. The chefs seemed normal, almost average looking. There were no crazy voices, no kitschy costumes, no ingredients that contained several hundred syllables. Except for maybe Molto Mario, who pulled an Alex Trebek and rolled every other word with a faux Italian accent. But your Emerils, your Flays, your other guy they banished to midnight – they were using actual ingredients we all owned. They were giving in depth instructions that even I could follow. I mean, I could be a master chef with some paprika and that tiny little packet of salt I keep behind the Swiss cake Rolls.

And so we as a nation tried. We all tried making lamb, tuna, salmon, BBQ ribs. We actually knew how to make side dishes that didn’t involve 59 cent boxes and any sort of “A-Roni.” Yet like any kid trying out a new bike before really learning how to ride it, we made some mistakes. We’d overcook some things, we’d overspice some things. But did we throw it out? Heck no, we’d eat it, try again and cook something else. We also didn’t realize that even though you are making the small, pretty portions that may seem like a tiny meal, the calories you consumed as you were cooking are just as registered on your thighs as the dish on the plate. Though dieters and rationalizers try to subscribe to the “Ripped food spills out all calories” rule, science and your growing buttockal region suggested otherwise.

But if we can resist gun toting Whopper force feeders, surely we could resist the stealthy wiles of a few well spoken Master cooks? But the evil people at the Food Network were ready for us with more than just “Bams.” And their two fisted assault began with the onslaught of hottie chefs, who personified every thing a red blooded American male desired: glistening sweaty pretty faces offering us meticulously created super dishes. Nigella. Giada. And newest Oprah lapdog, Rachael Ray (even though her signature show “$40 A Day” is unrealistic…Two rounds of drinks and shots in NYC and your budget leaves you just enough for the rock hard buttered roll at the corner deli.) These were the food sirens. Their mission was simple: keep the men fat and happy while they coo over the hot cameraman, who is impervious to their fat laden food much like Superman regained his powers after long time exposure to Kryptonite.

The Food Network has not rested on its’ haunches while ours turn into Spam-hocks. They keep adding newer more accessible shows. They hire its’ spokeschefs to tote out knives. They are even holding contests to indoctrinate new shills in their fat-making empire. We as a nation must rise up against these cholesterol pushers before its’ too late. So lift your arm, push the chunky tricep out of the way and change the channel. I suggest E!, because nothing guilts you into weight loss faster knowing that Ryan Seacrest is famous and you’re not. And I hear he’s dating Giada. Damn you anti-food Kryptonite. Damn you.



1. Chris - August 1, 2006

here via blogexplosion

When I saw RR had a provocative spread in FHM, I thought, “Ok, let’s check this out!” Then I saw it and ummmm….well….yuk.

I love Food TV and know you do too, you food whore;)

My Blog

2. doctorolove - August 1, 2006

I know…Rachael Ray does not translate well to the pages of FHM, but until they get Giana De Laurentis to show off her “biscuits,” we have to make do with what we got…

Thanks for commenting and yes, I am a food whore (though I prefer the more PC term of Edible Slut)

3. Kate - August 2, 2006

Oh my god, I love cooking shows. I grew up watching Julia Child and I remember Justin Wilson and the Galloping Gourmet’s new low-fat style cooking show.

Now I love watching Jamie Oliver when I can. It breaks my heart though whenever I think of his scrambled eggs which are beaten with whole milk (not water) in them. I just can’t do that to myself, so water it is. (It was good enough for my mother, good enough for me.)

4. doctorolove - August 2, 2006

Jamie Oliver is a hoot…Another of one of those normal guys who seems to know everything about food, and the women fawn all over him…Hey, is that another Food Network ploy?

As for milk or any liquid in my scrambled eggs, I am of the school in which the eggs need nothing, except enough squirts of Pam to open a hole in the ozone layer above my apartment!

Thanks for stopping and commenting!

5. MsFreud - August 2, 2006

Aw…. Alton Brown is awesome. My kitchen hero. I have used none of his recipes, but since he talks about the food itself and how to make your own recipes, I watch Good Eats religiously.
Emeril is another story- He sucks…. Who goes and cheers for a cook; just because he says BAM?! RE-TARD-ED.

6. Tisha - September 2, 2007

my goes. mind much but so recently, Not on it ,

7. gitedupa - April 7, 2010

There are many such examples of foods originating from their respective places of origins. Cooking has even become one of the most upcoming professions among the people. Many people are now aiming at becoming high class cooks. One can now even start off learning how to cook with the help of the internet where he can find a variety of recipes in order to make food.

8. gitedupa - April 7, 2010

Cooking is the elementary reason why there exists a different type of food in different parts of the world. We can even see from the past records that many dishes have been named after the names of the places of their origin. For example the Chinese dish Manchurian has been named after the place Manchuria.

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