Grocery shopping is on my mind today, partially because I just got back from the grocery store, partially because the price of food was a topic of conversation during a dinner party over the weekend.
One of our dinner hosts remarked that grocery shopping is expensive nowadays. Even the price of foods that used to be considered cheap, like hamburger or bacon, are now costly.
I’m sure a variety of factors have gone into rising food prices – transportation costs, production costs, etc. – but I’m holding Anthony Bourdain at least partially responsible for the rise in price of traditionally cheap foods, especially bacon.
Hubby and I have long been fans of Bourdain’s show No Reservations. We love his snarky humor, his appreciation of the everyday in other cultures, his dismantling of the “romance” of working in a kitchen, and the delicate way he eats even the messiest foods. (This latter quality is not one I noticed until I watched Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods. Zimmern is a sloppy eater by comparison and I’ve observed that the later episodes of his show don’t put the camera in his face as often during eating scenes. Thank goodness.)
Bourdain often points out that the poor citizens of other countries are very good at making the throwaway portions of animals into delectable dishes. He is also fond of saying, “Bacon fat rules.” Bacon used to be the cheap, “throwaway” food of poor Americans. So did hamburger and brisket. With TV chefs like Bourdain recommending these foods and showing us how to properly cook them, demand has gone up … and so has the price, leaving the poor to search for other inexpensive options. If only Bourdain could convince us that we don’t want to eat tenderloin steaks and jumbo shrimp (wink, wink).