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Showing posts from November, 2011

My Review of Rob Lyons's book 'Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder'

Published by Culture Wars
Rob Lyons is speaking at Birmingham Salon on Tuesday 6 December. See www.birminghamsalon.org for further details


‘Fish and chips are indigestible, expensive and unwholesome’. Eating them causes secondary poverty, which arises from the incompetent and immoral misapplication of household resources. There is a culinary ignorance, a failure to use cheap ingredients to their best advantage.

Is this the latest campaign by TV chef and moraliser Jamie Oliver? Perhaps it’s an analysis from a new government report on healthy eating? Or maybe it’s the findings of a think tank, desperately trying to understand our obsession with so called ‘junk food’. It’s actually my paraphrasing of John K Walton’s description of the debate about working-class eating habits in the late 1870s to early 1880s quoted in Rob Lyon’s new book. Something similar could easily be said today by any anti-obesity or ‘five a day’ campaigner.

The difference is that in the 1880s campaigners wer…

Salon member Niall Crowley in The Independent

"If a new generation of artists, designers and architects are going to create the products, the buildings and the infrastructure we need and deserve, they have to begin to think more critically about contemporary ideas, and challenge taboos and orthodoxies like environmentalism and sustainability. Only then can they throw off their self-imposed limitations, think big and finally stand on the shoulders of giants like Sir Henry Cole".'Make do and mend' is not the way for us all to get better stuff

Next Birmingham Salon Meeting

Are you what you eat? Is our obsessionwith what we eat healthy? Tuesday 6 December The Studio, Cannon St, Birmingham B2 5EP. 7.00pm until 8.30pm and in the pub afterwards. Introduced byRob Lyons is deputy editor of spiked, the online current affairs magazine that takes the attitude that Humanity is Underrated. He writes on a wide range of issues, but takes a particular interest in the issues of environment, food, energy and risk. Rob's book, Panic on a Plate: how society developed an eating disorder, was published by Societas in October 2011. He blogs about food atwww.paniconaplate.com. He is a frequent commentator on TV and radio. Over the last few years the smorgasbord of panics over food have included: bacon and bladder cancer, beef and breast cancer, canned fish and premature birth, trans fats and heart disease, breakfast cereals and high blood pressure, processed foods and mental illness, mad cow disease, GM, saturated fat, and salt. Rob Lyons's intention in this book is to inve…