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Food Network Takes a Serious Look at Food Allergies
Monday, October 01, 2007 | posted by Mike

The programming on Food Network is always at its best when it manages to combine entertainment and information, the pinnacle of which is probably Good Eats, at least in my opinion. It seems that, when the folks in programming decide to go with one rather than the other, they always err on the side of entertainment. Not that this is a bad thing – after all, if you really want to learn something, read a book. But a new special debuting this month appears to have some interesting and informative content.

As part of a larger announcement about upcoming shows like The Next Iron Chef, Nigella Express, 2 Dudes Catering and The Gourmet Next Door, the Food Network included a note about Edible Enemies a look at food allergies. The show will debut on Saturday, October 13th at 4 PM

No one really understands why an ice cream cone is a special treat for one child and can be fatal to another. Edible Enemies is a one-hour special report that looks at the mysterious increase in both the number and the severity of food allergies in the United States. Food Network investigates a pre-school and a University, where they hear heart-rending stories of near-death experiences and talk to researchers and doctors on the front lines of the fight against this medical mystery. Viewers will learn how food allergy sufferers shop for groceries, eat at home and in restaurants, and will showcase one special restaurant that caters to patrons with food allergies. See how the future looks for food allergy patients living in a world with ‘Edible Enemies’.

Food and its effects on society is a topic ripe for closer inspection, so it’s good to see Food Network taking advantage of its bully pulpit and, hopefully, providing information that can help shed awareness on these issues. Is this a trend that will continue? Will we see shows about the obesity epidemic, the potentially harmful effects on humans of hormones and preservatives in food and the environmental impact of factory farms?

These truly challenging subjects are a potential minefield for the Network, however, due to their reliance on advertising from many of the large companies that are responsible for the problems and a viewership that doesn’t particularly want to hear about the issues. Do you try to force-feed information to a public that is happy to stay willingly ignorant?

Of course, that was also the way things worked with global warming until recently, with advocates only now making a true breakthrough when it comes to getting the message out to a receptive public. Here’s hoping that the Food Network decides to trust and respect its viewers enough to give them the full picture.



Hi, I'm Mike and I created TVFoodFan.com as a place where you can come to get the latest news and views about what’s going on in the world of culinary television.

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