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中国四六级考试网 >> 英语世界
大学英语四级美文欣赏:末日标志
http://www.china-cet.com        来源:沪江英语        发布时间:2012-10-29 20:42:26
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Being a childless misanthropeand everything, it pleased me to see two new books addressing one of my pet peeves: kids and all the things they don’t like. Pamela Druckerman’s best-selling Bringing Up Bband the forthcoming French Kids Eat Everythingby Karen Le Billon both address the bizarrelystiltedtaste of American children. We’ve all been around kids who “only like” chicken fingers and are so fed nothing else by their unnaturally indulgenthelicopter parents. But in these books, particularly Druckerman’s, we get a long look at one of the most unnatural and disturbing of contemporary beings: the child foodie. “Catering to pickykids is a lot of work,” Druckerman writes, telling of a mother who makes four breakfasts for four different children, and a father who tells her “in reverenttones that his seven-year-old is very particular about textures.”

  Am I the only one who shuddersat this kind of thing? Certainly, I’m not the first to have noticed it. The existence of child foodies isn’t anything especially new; two year ago the Times did an awful piece on “Fine Dining Where Strollers Don’t Invite Sneers”; a year ago the New York Post weighed in on “Tweezine,” or fine cuisine for grade schoolers. In both cases readers retched. But the trend, sadly, wasn’t limited to New York: Chicago Magazine called the snootyspawn “koodies” and forecasted “an emerging society of pintsize gourmands.” And they aren’t going away. Earlier this week I read a story in the Daily News about a 12-year-old critic who had just published a restaurant guide to New York. Kid critics are the latest trend; even the normally causticeater.com has commissioned some. Then one of my friends wrote to tell me about his 8-year-old nephew. “He’s such a food snob,” he writes, that he “won’t eat canned or jarred foods. If he’s given bottled tomato sauce he spits it out.” Now, we’ve all seen bad kids; they’re even a form of entertainment, in the form of viral videos enjoyed by those of us who don’t actually have families. Child foodies aren’t bad—but the precociousdispleasure they display towards foods beneath them is most unnatural.

  I’m not against kids enjoying good food, even grown-up food like sushi or goat cheese risotto balls (fed to a two-year old, at one of the best restaurants in Manhattan, in the Times piece.) But being a foodie means having an aroused and rarefiedinterest in unusual foods; and that, inevitably, means an implicitdetestationof regular, crappyfoods. I may be the only professional food writer I know who eats Go-Go Taquitos at 7-11 as part of his regular diet; and I would get bounced out of the profession if people knew what I did behind closed doors.

  I don’t want to be the one to suggest that it’s wrong to encourage prepubescentepicureanismin a country where 46 million people are on food stamps…but it is wrong. I know no kid is moved by warnings that children are starving in Biafra; but they should be aware that children are starving three blocks over. Not to pick on the Times piece, which is both old and ludicrous, but I can’t stop thinking of the photograph, of three princelingsbeing waited upon by what appear to be hispanicservers. The image is one with more than a whiffof feudal privilege, in the context of which the children’s choices seem totally grossand un-American.

  Happily, there’s another way that kids are being caught up in the country’s food mania. And it’s one which I think should be encouraged at the expense of restaurant meals. That’s the trend for getting kids into cooking. Last week the Food Network Magazine announced that it would be creating a new title for children, in which chefs cook with their kids. A new PBS series, Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! is heading into its second season, and over the last few years some of the leading cookbook authors, such as Rachael Ray and Rozanne Gold have released cookbooks aimed at kids. This is a trend I can get behind. Cooking is better for kids than eating; it makes them aware of how much work goes into making something good to eat, and it will inevitably give them standards that will make junk food look bad. (Delicious, yes, but bad – or at least, recognizable as junk food, rather than, “food,” which is what it is for many kids.) It’s also a kind of emergency home economics for an era when few households have an adult at their disposalfull time. My hero Colonel Sanders learned to cook at the age of 7, making food for his young siblings while his mother worked in a factory; sadly, there are a lot of kids like him out there. Who knows? Once these kids learn to cook, maybe they’ll become good eaters too, and skip being “foodies” entirely.

  【重点单词及短语】

  pet peeve 不能忍受的事;经常抱怨的问题

  forthcoming adj. 即将来临的

  indulgent adj. 放纵的

  helicopter parents 直升机父母,指某些“望子成龙”、“望女成凤”心切的父母,就像直升机一样盘旋在孩子的上空,时时刻刻监控孩子的一举一动。

  cater to 迎合;为……服务

  texture n. 质地;纹理;结构

  prepubescent adj. 青春期前的

  epicureanism 享乐主义,又叫伊壁鸠鲁主义,认为享乐是人类最重要追求的哲学思想。

  food stamps 食品救济券

  wait upon 伺候;服侍

  feudal privilege 封建特权

  get behind 支持;支援

  siblingn. 兄弟姐妹;家庭成员

  Question time:

  1. What's the attitude of the author towards "foodie kids"?

  2. What's another way that kids are being caught up in the country’s food mania?

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