The headline of Josh Ozersky's April 4 Time broadside “Are Foodie Kids the Sign of End Times?” is so weird it almost made us choke on these morels and white asparagus tips in abalone dashi we're scarfing down for breakfast. To keep it brief, Ozersky thinks that there is a trend of kids getting too posh about food. In his mind, parents are obnoxiously encouraging their children to have gourmet tastes before they're old enough to tie their shoes; fancy restaurants are catering to them; and mainstream media outlets like The New York Times are peddling annoying, cheery stories about the whole thing.
Ozersky seems to consider it snobbery, another way for elitists to peer down the edges of their brandy snifters at the rest of us. He suggests that it's “wrong” to “encourage prepubescent epicureanism in a country where 46 million people are on food stamps,” and thinks kids ought to spend more time in kitchens and less in restaurants.
“I'm not against kids enjoying good food, even grown-up food like sushi or goat cheese risotto balls … [b]ut being a foodie means having an aroused and rarefied interest in unusual foods,” Ozersky writes. “And that, inevitably, means an implicit detestation of regular, crappy foods.”
As usual, we're scratching our heads. Ozersky calls it “unnatural,” but of course, wealthy kids are more likely to grow up surrounded by luxury — whether it's designer diapers or $300 haircuts or goat cheese ricotta balls.
There's nothing inherently snobby about goat cheese. Unless the kids eating it are made to feel as if eating it instead of rubbery string cheese tubes from Walmart somehow makes them superior. That feels like nurture rather than nature. There's plenty more too — Ozersky's shout-out to 7-11 taquitos, Colonel Sanders hero-worship, and the suggestion that there's something “un-American” to all this — but we'll let you sort it out.