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Guest Thinkers

In Praise of Fast Food

“Culinary Luddism has come to involve more than just taste; it has also presented itself as a moral and political crusade—and it is here that I begin to back off,” says one historian.

“As a historian I cannot accept the account of the past implied by this movement: the sunny, rural days of yore contrasted with the gray industrial present. It gains credence not from scholarship but from evocative dichotomies: fresh and natural versus processed and preserved; local versus global; slow versus fast; artisanal and traditional versus urban and industrial; healthful versus contaminated. History shows, I believe, that the Luddites have things back to front. That food should be fresh and natural has become an article of faith. It comes as something of a shock to realize that this is a latter-day creed.”


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