Essay Chicago Summary
The essay is a summery or response to the article written by Laudan titled “In Praise of
Fast Food” The article notes that modern, fast processed food is a disaster as conveyed in mass
media, but not the case always when we evaluate the benefit brought about by the same.
From the onset, it is noted that those efforts that tend to counter fast food is nothing but
lack of appreciation. It demeans the efforts of agronomists and home economists (Laudan, 2010,
37). Culinary Luddites style is widely adopted; this was instigated by those who campaigned
against industrialized foods. The argument was that the machines destroyed the way they were
living. Laudan adopted this style of cooking after reading Elizabeth David books (Laudan, 2010,
The article notes that the campaign is not only targeting taste of the foods but something
else. Laudan does not agree with what the group advocate for, this is because there are clear
distinction between the past and present. Our forefathers considered natural to be something
horrible. To them, natural things had a bad test, unreliable and a lot of work was involved in
making food edible.
According to Laudan, 2010, 37, the efforts made by those after our ancestors ensured that
food tasted good, were healthy, safe and easy to digest as well as ensuring that food reliability is
enhanced. Eating fresh and natural food was seen as being uncivilized. Soldiers, shepherds,
hunters among others needed foodstuffs that could be consumed very fast and of course far from
homes (Laudan, 2010, 37). The best food indeed is those eaten by those living in the urban and
not country side noted Laudan. Fast food as suggested by Laudan has brought relieve to both
women and men as they can have choices other than engaging in activities in the field and
Our cooking style indeed aggravates toxin and carcinogens that exist in plants. The
present generation is healthier than our ancestors and they have longer life expectancy. It was in
mid 20th centaury that the first fast food came to existence in Italy (Laudan, 2010,38). The author
notes that although fast food is advantageous, it is associated with some drawbacks. This he
suggests should not deter us from demanding high quality food. He adds that what needs to be
done is to develop an all encompassing ethos about this issue.
In my own opinion, the campaigners against fast food indeed have something else other
than the food; I believe they are propelled politically and amorally. In line with the author, the
efforts of these campaigners is total lack of appreciating what new technology has to offer as
well as innovations of agronomists and home economists. I also hold the opinion brought forth
by the author that most of us have embraced a cooking style that has been advocated by these
crusaders against fast food (Laudan, 2010,37).
Additionally, there is clear distinction from the past and at present; for instance in the
past, there were no innovation to help process food and preserve them unlike today. I also hold
the same opinion to that of the author that one need to have very high knowledge and skills to
differentiate what is fresh and natural from processed and preserved, local from what is deemed
global, slow from fast, traditional and artisanal from industrial and contaminated from healthy
The point I slightly disagree with the author is when he said that our ancestors distasted
natural things. There efforts made by those who followed those does not wholly lay a stronger
ground for us to sum up that natural was horrible. It is indeed true that without new innovation,
traditional and natural foodstuffs were highly unreliable and people went to greater heights to
make food edible. For instance, a season characterized with plenty of food was in most cases
followed with acute shortage of food just be cause there were no ways that could be used to
preserve, conserve and store food for future use.
Grinding, soaking, leaching, curdling as well as fermenting of food stuffs were indeed
among the strategies employed to ensure that foodstuffs were safe, healthy, and digestible and
had a god taste. I tend to believe that the issue of food being scare after bumper harvest,
necessitated the construction of granaries in which food that were preserved using traditional
methods such as salting, smoking as well as use of additives and preservative could be stored for
Concerning the issue of eating fresh and natural foodstuff at this time, I do not agree that
it a sign of poverty or uncivilization (Laudan, 2010,38). Indeed there are more a variety of
foodstuffs especially fruits that most of us use. I also hold the view in line with the author that
there are some activities done by human beings that need food stuffs that can last for long, easy
to carry and eat. People like soldiers, hunters and farmers when they are harvesting or carrying
out any activity in there fields need such kind of food that can be eaten while away from home.
Indeed our ancestors live a shorter live, full of misery; most of them were shorter and
suffered diseases that can be linked to not eating certain kinds of food (Laudan, 2010,38).
Comparing those in the country side and those in urban areas, I agree with Laudan that the later
enjoy the best and healthiest kinds of foodstuffs. This is because those in the country side grow
crops and since in most cases it is what earns them a living so they are compelled to sell the best
quality food. They are then left with those that are not of high quality.
Although it is argued that old foodstuffs were not balanced, when we consider the kind of
pollution at present time, our food constitutes more pollutant that pose a great risk to our health.
The ways we cook do worsen the scenario especially frying and grilling of food (Laudan,
2010,39). I also hold the same opinion with the author that fast food although has some
problems, the advantages it has brought to mankind are worth noting. For instance, it has
provided both men and women a choice to engage in other activities rather than their respective
traditional activities. Women now have enough time to sleep, people are healthier, and have long
Additionally, I concur with Laudan that food history is very significant to us and despite
t5he fact that fast food do have it other side of the coin, this should not deter us from demanding
high quality fast food (Laudan, 2010,39). Lastly, development of a culture/ethos that is all
encompassing in terms of fast food is very vital.
In conclusion, issues related to food are very sensitive and need to be addressed in a
sober manner because it is what dictates the wellbeing of human race.
Laudan, Rachel. ‘In Praise of Fast Food’: We Need a Culinary Ethos That Comes To Terms
with Industrialized Food, (2010): 37-39