I’m a huge cooking television fan, although I’m getting a little tired of the Food Network and it’s so-called “cooking” shows [“Battle of the Food Trucks”?  What?].  I’m a big fan of Iron Chef America, especially when Cat Cora is not on it or when she loses – which is quite a lot.  She has, by far, the worse winning percentage of the other Iron Chefs – winning a paltry 56.6% of the time.  Still, when she loses, which is quite often, she seems shell-shocked.  Like, “What?  I lost?!?!?!?”  Yea, yea – back to the kitchen Cat.  And take your crappy CCQ eatery inside Macy’s with you.

Recently, as I’ve been watching “The Next Iron Chef” and rooting on my boy Ming Tsai, I realized something.  It was something I didn’t want to realize.  Of all the countries in our world that have been ravaged by civil unrest, greed and corruption, and people wanting just food and clean water, here in America, we have a hit show called “The Next Iron Chef”.  And what is this show about?  The extravagance of the “secret ingredient”.  And that secret ingredient has been both basic [like broccoli] to the costly, like Alaskan King Crab.  On the Costco website, a 4 pound bag of Alaskan King Crab [frozen] goes for $100.  $25 a pound.  To keep things in perspective – according to globalissues.org, 80% of the people living in this world live on less than $10 A DAY.  A DAY.  And here we are, enjoying for our cooking pleasure on TV where 2 teams battle it out on lobster.  A LOT of lobster.  Not to mention all the other ingredients that go into that “kitchen stadium”.

Before I thoroughly judge and bash the heck out of “The Next Iron Chef” and the Food Network in general, I have to say that even though I know what I just wrote to be true, I can’t help but like watching it.  The competition, the innovation, the creativity, and see “whose cuisine reigns supreme”.  I can’t help but feel a bit weak at the knees when I see a savory concoction that looks so amazing on TV that if I could, I would reach in and take a bite.  And then there’s a much smaller part of me that is saddened to read things like how 80% of the world population subsist on less than $10 a day.  And then I go, watching another kitchen stadium food battle.  Self condemnation doesn’t make it right for those who need basic necessities, and yet in this country, we have shows like “Iron Chef America”, “Man vs. Food“, and “Meat and Potatoes”.  I’m part of that problem and I totally buy into the food battle that goes on every week.

I don’t know that boycotting a show or a network is the answer because it still doesn’t help those who are in desperation.  Watching the show itself isn’t evil, but I need to be more cognizant of the food I waste, the portions I consume, and the entitlement attitudes I have, especially when it comes to food.  Sobering thoughts for sure.  I’m still rooting for Ming, but there’s a part of me that needs to wake up to the reality of how the rest of the world struggles and pushes on, perhaps with nothing but the faith that God will provide.

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