When Mark Bittmannext month talks to a Seattle audience about the "sticks and carrots" needed "to move out of this mess" that he believes agribusiness and lax government policies have created, he won't be speaking metaphorically. The guy really believes in carrots.
The New York Times op-ed columnist and food writer is an outspoken foe of what he calls "non-foods," such as soda pop. In a June column supporting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugar-sweetened beverages bigger than 16 ounces, Bittman compared soda to beer, tobacco and heroin.
"They promote growth all right -- in precisely the wrong way -- and they do the opposite of promoting health and good condition. They are not food," he wrote.
Bittman believes the battle on supplemental sugar has just begun, and looks forward to a day when children can't buy junk food (and perahps end up eating carrots.) You get the sense from reading his columns that he wouldn't be too broken up if every flavored potato chip factory burned to the ground tomorrow.
In the prohibitory spirit promoted by Bittman, Voracious wants to know which food (or, if you'd prefer, non-food) you think is deserving of a ban. You can ground your argument in aesthetics, public policy or something else, but aim for smart, succinct and specific: The reward for the best suggestion is a pair of tickets to Bittman lecture at Benaroya Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m., provided by event sponsor Seattle Arts & Lectures.
Fire away in the comments section. We'll announce a winner in this space on Friday afternoon.