Mark Bittman: Analyzed
Mark Bittman, a food journalist, 30-year author, and writer for “The Minimalist”, a column in the New York Times, explains his views on obesity and other food related issues in his article, “Why Take Food Seriously? Because Your Life Depends on It”. In the article, Bittman uses specific examples such as personal shout-outs to famous chefs, morbid descriptions, harsh facts, and shocking comparisons between “then and now” in the food world, emphasizing people’s ignorance along the way to show the way he believes to be wrong. He does this, hoping to guilt readers to correctly grow, distribute, prepare, and ultimately change the way we eat it.
Bittman uses the examples of exotic dishes losing their authenticity in his argument to help the reader relate certain topics in order to enlighten the reader to the extinction of the once meaningful meals, forcing guilt. He lists different cuisines that have been introduced to America through immigration and gives examples such as “Tibetan, Cambodian, Ethiopian, and Ecuadorian” (Bittman 780). He does this so people understand where some of these “exotic” recipes and concoctions come from exactly. He also gives examples of people who have made these “exotic” dishes accessible to even amateurs, such as, “Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, and Julie Sahni” (Bittman 780). Bittman refers to these people and places to give the reader an idea of who actually mastered these cuisines and where they’re from so it makes his claim more valid and establishes his authority, which is needed in a good argument—the author must be trustworthy. Once again, he uses specific examples when he writes shout-outs to people who prove his points. For example, Bittman writes, “European chefs in the United States embraced Asian ingredients (thank you, Jean-Georges Vongerichten)” (Bittman 781). He does this to prove to the audience that he does know a lot about his claim, which establishes credibility.
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