I agree with the underlyling premise of Ruhlman's post that it's bullshit for people to say they don't have time to cook. It's a choice that people make, not something imposed on them. Even when I was a full time lawyer at a big fancy firm, I still made dinner 2-3 nights a week. Now that I'm a part time lawyer at a normal firm, I cook 5-6 nights a week. I might not feel like cooking every one of those nights, but I consider it a a responsibiilty that I have to my family. Most nights, I cook a 30 minute meal because I get home around 5 or 6. Some days, when I am home or on a weekend, I make a meal that takes anywhere from 1-4 hours. So, I appreciate what Ruhlman is saying.
So here's the part of the post that really pisses me off:
Part of the problem is the magazine editors and television producers drumming us over the head with fast and easy meal solutions at home. It's the wrong message to send. These editors and producers and publishers are backing the processed food industry, propelling their message. What I say to you magazine editors and producers, to you Rachael Ray and you Jamie Oliver and your 20 minutes meals: God bless you, but you are advertising and marketing on behalf of the processed food industry.
First, I don't know if Ruhlman intends to, but he is implying hat Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver use processed food. She does not! Neither does Jamie Oliver! That is what they are both (and especially Jamie Oliver) are entirely against. Um, have you seen Food Revolution? That's the whole freaking point of the show. So to pick those two out, people who have crusaded to get fresh food into schools instead of processed, people who write quick recipes without relying on processed food, is misleading. People who don't know Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver will jump to the conclusion that they rely on that crap. And they don't.
Second, is Ruhlman saying that simply by having stars promoting a 30 minute meal, people will jump to the conclusion that it has to be processed and will run out to the store for some hamburger helper? I think people understand the subtlety that you can cook a fresh meal in 30 minutes, without relying on processed junk. If they don’t, then they haven’t listened to Jamie Oliver or Rachael Ray in the first place. So then how are Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver propping up the processed food industry by offering an alternative to it? It just makes no sense and Ruhlman is just wrong.
Ruhlman should be praising Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver for coming out against processed food and providing an alternative that is just as quick and easy. People are smart enough to know the difference between the crap in boxes in the store and the fresh, simple, and healthy stuff that Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver promote.
PS - I know not all of Rachael Ray's meals are healthy, but I think we can all agree that through the vast majority of her recipes and through her non-profit organization, Rachael Ray is, on balance, a steadfast promoter of using fresh ingredients. My grocery cart full of veggies every week is certainly evidence of that. Just ignore the cookies I dropped in there, too.