TOL: Cooking shows make us fat?

This morning I had the chance to catch a bit of news. Usually the gym TVs are turned to CNN or NBC all the timeΒ  because that’s what the old folks and my fellow gym mates like. This morning, the TV caught my attention (and it wasn’t about the weather) because it showed a familiar face, but not for that network:

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It showed the lovely Mrs. Rachel Ray herself.

At first, I thought the channel had changed because the Food Network is popular on weekends (myself included haha). However, such was not the case. Rachel, and her other Food Network costars were being featured in a segment titled “Are Cooking Shows Making Us Fat?”

Because the TV is muted and I didn’t want to stand there are read the subtitles, I did not hear what the newscasters were saying. I do have my own opinions and would like to share them Out Loud.

I think food shows DO deserve a little bit of the blame for the rise of the Foodies. Since my family got Dish network over ten years ago, the demand for and subsequent increase in food related TV is substantial. When we first got all the channels, there was one food channel, with a couple chefs cooking in their own home. I remember Paula’s Best Dishes (before she was racist), 30 Minute Meals, Everyday Italian and Essence of Emeril. Honestly, I thought they were only entertaining if NOTHING else was on.

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Then things got interesting, new shows popped up like The Next Food Network Star, Unwrapped and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. These shows featured everyday cooks making it big, meaning all of us could too if we were “Foodie” enough. Unwrapped showed how things were made, and it was so interesting that even if I previously hated jelly worms or hot dogs, I now knew where they came from and wanted them (…ok hotdogs was a bad example). Triple D (diner, drive-ins and dives) showed me where to go for HUGE pancakes, the world’s biggest hamburger or all-you-can-eat clams. I even went to a couple of those places because they were featured.

Then is seemed like every restaurant and home chef wanted to make their food as over the top. We started adding cheese to everything. We made milkshakes with a quart of ice cream. We bought blow torches (for crème Brule). Nothing was good enough.

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Now, I do not think the Food Network (now also the Cooking Channel and the Travel Channel) are solely to blame. Another HUGE part of this problem is the power of TV in general. People do not move anymore. They sit. They watch. They eat. It’s a cycle of clogged arteries and void of exercise.

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I do enjoy watching the Food Channel. I especially love it when there is a breakfast episode and I get an idea of what to make when I get home. However, I also (try) to see what it is. Every once in a while, a mound of pancakes is fine…but rather than search for the most decadent thing in Ithaca or make myself a sugar bomb…I’ll settle for two or three pancakes that taste good. I do not need to blow my mind with flavor every time I eat.

That is all.

What do you think of food shows?

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6 comments

  1. I saw this too! Someone saying that “women who watch cooking shows are more likely to be overweight.” I think that completely forgets the activity factor in the equation…also, the portions are totally distorted, yes, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with cooking with butter, oil ,etc. They are usually using REAL food. It’s like how the Europeans cook! Real food, good portions, good activity level…I think that would lead to a balanced life. Plus, IDK why but it bugs me that this was just said about women haha.

    • I completely agree! It’s like we have nothing better to do than sit at home watching daytime TV. The only time my mom watches stuff like that is at the end of the day to unwind…and my dad watches with her!

  2. I’d never once thought it cooking shows were contributing to the obesity epidemic. I think that’s really weird. Maybe it’s got a point but I can’t think of one right now. I’m also burnt out from finals so excuse my sluggish brain. I used to love watching the Food Network, though. I never made anything I saw but it was fun. Unwrapped was like a nightly routine in my house for a while.

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