The Food Press’ Silence About Food Prices

Sara Dickerman in Slate:

As an industry, we rhapsodize about la cucina povera—that is, “poor food” like polenta, beans, and braise-worthy cuts of meat like short-ribs and pigs trotters—but we rarely talk about cooking in terms of dollars and cents. When food writers and producers advocate economy, they’re usually talking about time—churning out recipes for fast, easy, everyday weeknight meals that can be prepared in minutes. The dollar-savvy recipe is far less common. Why, even as the economic news turns grim, is it so unusual for the food media to take cost into account?

In part, it’s because we assume our readers are looking for a window into the epicurean life, not a mirror of their own kitchens. And, of course, there is the subtle or not-so-subtle pressure to sell advertisers’ expensive food products, travel packages, and restaurants. But a big factor, I think, is an aesthetic concern—a fear of taking the hectoring tone of the much-maligned home economist.