Whether on the basis of taste, price or nutrition, people are driven by the values they place on food as well as by individual social standing, or current events or social conditions (xi-xii). The food industry through the media makes use of these factors to popularize a certain food.
Take for instance the cover images of popular food magazines Gourmet, Good Food, and Cooking Light. A 2009 starter edition of the now-defunct Gourmet, which was part of the year-end collection, sported an image of a less Italianized spaghetti and meatballs. The edition included other Italian-style recipes as a tribute to American Italians. Good Food’s issue this Christmas Season promotes “Festive Cooking” with a matching picture of a roasted chicken soaked in spices and garnished with what looked like potatoes around the sidelines. Cooking Light, was all for the sweet tooth this Holidays and showed an image of a glass vessel full of various sweets. Though the magazines considered the Holiday Season, summer vacations, and American Italians, they all promoted recipes that do not necessarily sustain life. Not only do they appear complicated to regular persons, these recipes take time to prepare, and are not practical to eat in day-to-day meals. Desserts, for example, have high sugar content and too much intake of sugar could raise blood sugar levels, a condition called hyperglycemia which could lead to kidney failure or other health problems.
Judging from the headings, these magazines have not emphasized on nutrition but on how quickly the recipes are prepared and how they appear to the consumers. Gourmet focused speed and being economical as evidence by one of its article entitled “Ten-Minute Mains,” which listed down all fast-cooking affordable foods like hamburgers (Knauer 52). Good Food was more on the aesthetic aspect of the food, which has to be as “festive” as Christmas like the thoroughly garnished roasted chicken. The heading “So Easy, So Elegant: Secret Shortcuts for Spectacular Desserts” suggests that Cooking Light compromised fast preparation and food appearance.