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Union Books, £8.99
This scathingly funny and well-researched attack on ‘foodism’ first came out last October in hardback, but has just come out in commuting-friendly paperback format. In recent months, author Steven Poole has been in some demand as a public speaker attacking food snobbery in all its forms. As a polemicist, he’s highly readable and isn’t scared to slaughter holy cows.
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One of his prevailing themes is that food culture is not the pinnacle of human achievement, merely a pleasant complement to it. This might seem obvious, but Poole is interested in the many food fundamentalists, cranks and shysters that are given undue space. Along the way he jabs TV pop-nutritionists; restaurant dish fashions; the holier-than-thou stance of some of the organic movement; and the burgeoning industry of celebrity chefs and cook-offs. These may be easy targets, but as well as tearing into the soft underbelly of contemporary food culture he provides belly laughs aplenty.
It’s perfect light reading for tube journeys – or that small room reserved for attending to the other end of your alimentary tract.
Issue 2222, April 9-15, Guy Dimond