Monday, July 13, 2009

A Vegetarian's Open Letter to FoodTV

Dear FoodTV,

After being a loyal viewer for 6 years to your television station, I have canceled my subscription. I'm consider myself a foodie. I blog about it, cook, create recipes and love watching cooking shows. However, after several months of tuning to your station, I haven't watched a single show in it's entirety.

Years ago, you had a show called Manic Organic, it was the reason why I subscribed to your channel in the first place. Then it got canceled. I started watching Good Eats, being thoroughly impressed with Alton Brown's culinary science, but then was deflated with his blatant endorsement of High Fructose Corn Syrup - Alton, what the hell?

None of your programming appeals to me as a vegetarian. Even though 2.5 percent of the US population is vegetarian, and the majority take the most time to prepare meals, your programming does not include ONE program focusing solely on vegetarian cooking. If we were to consider 24*7 programming in a week, with wanting to proportionally appeal to the population, you'd devote almost 4 hours of shows geared towards the non-meat eaters. Would that be so horrible?

Vegetarians and vegans are great food enthusiasts, we are probably the ones that pay the most attention to the origin of what we eat and how to transform our food to be versatile, nutritious and appetizing.

Your programming over time is moving away from food and focuses on shows glamorizing verbal abuse (why do people even like this?), decoration (Maybe TLC would be a better venue?), boobs (how many shows about pasta do we really need and why did you ditch the hot Italian guy?) and how to cook with canned goods! Any show that goes back to real cooking with raw ingredients has a fat slab of meat as the center piece to the show and the potential vegetarian side dishes are given meager air time. Sure, you had your vegetarian Saturday programming back in January. Feel free to pat yourselves on the back for that 4 hours out of the year....

I did write to you, suggesting you include vegetarian programming. I wasn't even given a confirmation of receipt that someone may have glanced at my email.

There are fabulous vegetarian and vegan chefs out there, just waiting to be given a chance. Need ideas? Just check the shelves FULL of veg cookbooks at your local bookstore. Scared of being too fringe?

But I guess having a man yell obscenities at apprentices and casual zoom ins on heaving bosoms gets more viewership than real cooking.


Michael Natkin said...

I agree with you! And I think they should hire me to be the host of their new veg. show.

Robin Asbell said...

Hear Hear!
As someone who has been in the trenches with veg food for many years, I've just grown used to the meat-bias in tv, magazines, etc.
If they ever did do a show, it would only be valid if a famous meat chef did it- like Mark Bittmann or Jamie Oliver.
Check out my blog post on just that phenomenon in magazines.

Huricanelane said...

I don't agree with you on all counts, but I do agree that FoodTV has no customer service feedback. I emailed both foodtv and my local cable company to complain about commercials airing in the middle of most of their prime time shows. Foodtv never responded at all, the cable company actually did. All of their shows were unwatchable with the interruptions, so I no longer pay for the channel. Now I download the few shows that are worth watching: Good Eats and Iron Chef America.

Megan said...

"how to cook with canned goods!"

Assuming that means Sandra Lee, I agree. Her recipes are terrible. I'll add that I dislike how food shows only show pasta for vegetarian dishes. Like that and a lettuce salad are the only options I should serve my vegetarian friends ? *face palm*