Is Food The New Sex?

The Hoover Institution asks us to meet Betty and Jane: “Betty thinks food is a matter of taste, whereas sex is governed by universal moral law; and Jennifer thinks exactly the reverse”:


Betty and Jennifer may be imaginary, but the decades that separate the two women have brought related changes to the lives of many millions. In the 50 years between their two kitchens, a similar polar transformation has taken root and grown not only throughout America but also throughout Western society itself. During those years, cultural artifacts and forces in the form of articles, books, movies, and ideas aimed at deregulating what is now quaintly called “nonmarital sex” have abounded and prospered; while the cultural artifacts and forces aimed at regulating or seeking to re-regulate sex outside of marriage have largely declined. In the matter of food, on the other hand, exactly the reverse has happened. Increasing scrutiny over the decades to the quality of what goes into people’s mouths has been accompanied by something almost wholly new under the sun: the rise of universalizable moral codes based on food choices.

Which is yet another example of replacing religion with aesthetics.


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