What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

 

Question: Is American culture inherently wasteful?

 

David Chang: Oh most definitely.  America is the most wasteful country in the world.  It’s a country of abundance, which is why we don’t have a food culture. 

I don’t know if we’re ever going to have a food culture, but because we produce so much food and have so much excess of everything, particularly food, I don’t know if America has never been hungry, really hungry for a long period of time, like many other countries. 

Granted we’re not as old as other countries, but almost everywhere else, food is cherished, and people are knowledgeable about it. 

When I lived in Japan, I was like, “Oh my god.  Everybody knows everything about food.”  What fish is in season to the vegetables.  The product and the quality of the product is so high, and you can eat well even on the cheap there.  Everything is affordable.  Even affordable food is delicious, and that was a big moment for me – a watershed moment you could say, where I was like, “Wow, food doesn’t have to be great on a fine dining level.” 

The super wealthy people don’t have to eat well.  And America; to appreciate food, to really enjoy it, is almost viewed as snobbery and elitism, whereas in other countries it’s not.  It’s like wow.  Like this is part of our culture.  This is part of our heritage.  This is part of who we are, is cooking and enjoying food. 

And it’s not the case here.  It’s about hamburgers, and hot dogs, and pizzas and French fries.

 

Topic: Worshipping Tripe and Offal

 

David Chang: It’s totally overrated.

Because that’s what people grew up eating.  Most part for the history of the world, you know, I think Chef Keller said it best.  It’s easy to cook the filet mignon.  It’s easy to cook the lobster.  It’s really hard to cook something that is normally thrown away and make it delicious.  And that’s peasant cooking, and that’s where real food comes from.  It’s from people that didn’t have the luxurious ingredients.  They had to make do with what was best around them. 

And it’s funny that it’s deemed “cool cooking.”  But that’s real cooking to the cooks, and to us, and a lot of the guys that are coming up with a recipe or working on the recipes. 

I know that we have a __________ sweet bread; but we’re trying to make something that’s normally delicious. Everyone wants sweet bread for the most part. 

But like, say, pig’s tails, or trotters, or even like stomach, that’s hard. 

Americans right now in the culinary world, or at least in the media, I think they enjoy it more because of the novelty of it all; that it’s different or it’s sort of chic.  But there’s nothing chic about stomach, or tripe, or pig’s head.  There’s nothing sexy about that or cool.  That’s what you should be doing anyways.

 

 

Is American culture inheren...

Newsletter: Share: