I love Leverage. No, I do not mean I am always trying to use X to lever Y to happen. I mean the television show. I love it -- and am indebted to the same person who inspired this blog and often dines with me for introducing me to this wonder. The Bad Guys become the Good Guys, they have a team consisting of a con person, aka a grifter, a hacker, a thief, etcetera. And, their hang out is a bar.
But why am I writing about this now, here, on Cooking with Ideas? No, the show does not appear on the Food Network. Instead, it is because of a particular, very recent (July 26) episode called "The Hot Potato Job." Here's a recap. Or here. Yep, the episode is about a food scientist (a young one, indeed a grad student) who comes up with a dandy potato -- with all the possible virtues ever -- healthier even than a "real" potato, vermin resistant, and . . . good. And this good is posed over against bad agribusiness -- in the form of a huge company that tries to steal it, first by persuasion, then by violence. So, the politics of food has reached the tiny little screen (well, mine is huge) called television.What makes me think this matters is how many on-line reviews I have read that admit they were clueless that there IS bad agribusiness. Have they never heard of Monsanto? Admittedly, I think even they are unlikely to do what the bad guys do here (and bad women in executive clone). But still, how clueless can anyone be?Yes, onsanto is interested in potatoes -- see this site for example. And, of course, grad students who work on new crops are unlikely to get to own their "inventions." Nor are htey as innocent as this show somehow manages to portray them>
Ok, there were problems with the episode from the perspective of foodies. For example, how clueless could WE be to think all good resides in food science while all bad resides with agribusiness. Like they are not highly interconnected. And, of course, there is the all good grad student female versus evil (at least some female) agribusiness executives. There are cute school children . . . and not so cute businessmen.
But, still, there are upsides. Mainly, it is just that I love this television show. And wow -- a foodie link. And, that hot potato pun does tickle my funny bone. Where did that phrase come from anyway?
For a review of the spisode, try here. Or here. Or even here. For more on teh food politics of agribusiness, see this site for an example or just use the internet with a critical eye. Trust me. There's a lot to criticize going on . . . . .