Beet versus meat: five things we learned about eating habits from Jonathan Safran Foer and Anthony Bourdain

Beet versus meat: five things we learned about eating habits from Jonathan Safran Foer and Anthony Bourdain

The great eat-off: Anthony Bourdain versus Jonathan Safran Foer (Images: Renée Suen, Elena Torre) 

This week’s debate on what we should be putting in our mouths comes from two extremes of the discussion: Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of Eating Animals, who argues that meat is murder, and Anthony Bourdain, author of Medium Raw, who argues that meat is murder—tasty, tasty murder. For 20 minutes on CBC Radio’s Q, the two slagged it out over whether it’s right or wrong to eat meat.

We listened to the discussion so you don’t have to. Here, a cheat sheet on what was said, so you can annoy your entire family at the Thanksgiving table. Spoiler alert: no one wins, and the discussion horse is beaten to a point where it’s pâté.

1) Bourdain avoids the trifecta of bad American cuisine—“the King, the Clown and the Colonel”—but doesn’t look down on people who eat it because it’s a convenient and cheap meal for people in lower income brackets.

2) Bourdain has never eaten dog because they’re “cute” and accepts being a hypocrite about it.

3) Safran Foer says most Thanksgiving turkeys are bred through artificial insemination and have never seen daylight, which defeats the purpose of giving thanks for the plentiful harvest.

4) This quote from Safran Foer is hilarious and incomplete (moderator Jian Ghomeshi interrupted him to end the debate): “We’ve become too used to the idea that something that comes between two buns…”

5) Safran Foer wants everyone to eat like “our grandparents,” saying that if we all did it, “Tea Partiers would be eating lentils just like me.”