5@5 - Food rules to live by
August 10th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

As kids across America prepare (read: drag their feet) for the start of another school year, teachers are just as busy preparing for their imminent arrival - including hanging that ubiquitous poster outlining the class rules of "treat others like you'd like to be treated" and "keeps hands, feet and objects to yourself."

Speaking of rules, chef Linton Hopkins has a few of his own to contribute to the rest of the class - though his are more applicable in the lunchroom than in the library.

Hopkins is chef and co-owner of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the Southern Foodways Alliance Board President, a multi James Beard Award nominee, a Food & Wine magazine "Best New Chef" and co-founder of the Peachtree Road Farmers Market.

Five Good Food Values: Linton Hopkins

1. Food should be connected to people, location and values.
"Eat out in restaurants where the staff knows where the food comes from. Shop where they know their sources, preferably farmers markets."

2. Try to cook from scratch more often.
"Start with one meal a week made from ingredients bought at your local farmers market. Keep it simple using fewer ingredients. You may be surprised at how good it makes you feel."

3. The best foods bring about memories and associations with other people and invoke a link to the past.
"For example, when I roast lamb at home, or even in the restaurant, I immediately think of my mother and my memories of her roasting lamb at home on Sunday. It’s tradition, its family, it’s a part of who I am and I’m passing that on to my children."

4. Enjoying good food means enjoying the romance of seasonality.
"The secret to cooking begins with selection of the best ingredients and more times than not the food is in season or comes from a local farm or artisan. It is highly pleasurable to look forward to an item that should only come around a few months a year, like local tomatoes or peaches."

5. The food enemy is not any singular food item or business.
"The enemy is the compromised method of mass harvesting, processing and delivery systems in order to sell food cheaply. Cheeseburgers can be good food. What is wrong with grass-fed beef and real cheese on a fresh baked bun with sliced tomato and mustard? Nothing.

But when cheeseburger is comprised of ammonia treated CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) ground beef, fake cheese, tasteless tomato and preservative-ridden bread, it quickly becomes bad.

Good food starts with fresh, wholesome, healthy ingredients. If you want cheap food then you need to understand the compromises."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. hey

    hey you put kraft american singles on the burgers at H&F and although i understand the aesthetic considerations it's by any metric 'fake cheese'.

    August 18, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  2. debbie338

    How am I supposed to take nutritional advice from a guy who's at least 50 pounds overweight?

    August 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  3. les

    seasonal cooking – the way to go. and local seasonal – wonderful

    August 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  4. geraldine rabbin amoah

    guess we should really check our diet

    August 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Jorge

    "But when cheeseburger is comprised of ammonia treated CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) ground beef, fake cheese, tasteless tomato and preservative-ridden bread, it quickly becomes bad." -Tell me about it. Ever since I came back to the states, I've had chronic GERD and IBS, it's only slacked off somewhat since I stopped drinking tap water. Supermarket meats give me esophagus spasms. I spent last Christmas overseas eating field-grown roast pork, blood sausage, fried breadfruit, stuffed green banana patties, South American beef and drinking rum with guess what, no problem until I came back stateside. Here, I've got heartburn and nausea as I write. If this keeps up, I'll be forced to live on Ensure and oatmeal. I swear the FDA and the USDA have got to be getting pimped six ways from Sunday by big aggie corporations.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Montyhp

    LOL at number 5. It is all about fat and calories. If 2 cheeseburgers have the same fat and calories, they are equally bad.

    I agree with real cheese and fresh homegrown tomatoes because they just taste better.

    Don't demonize commercial food operations unless you have some evidence.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Shawn

    OK. Whatever. Eating less is important. Don't eat with abandon. When I found out how much protein the body requires, I started cooking less protein and adding more veggies. Use fruits as dessert. Not pies. Desserts like that should be treats, no more than once a week and preferably once a month. Enjoy food in small amounts, in wide variety, in season and in control!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Spanky

      I agree with you but where is it talking about dieting?

      August 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  8. Michelle

    I've tried to live by these rules. It is expensive but when I taste the food that's not natural I can't eat it anymore. It's very different taste!

    August 11, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  9. Texas Teacher

    I will not hang posters,just myself. Another school year....ugggggh!

    August 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Texas Student

      Let me help you with that. Here is a noose.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • J.B.B.

      So quit already! Kids do NOT need "teachers" such as yourself!

      August 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Jeann

    American food is nothing short of banal, so the only rule to live by is avoiding it at all times.

    August 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Gastro

      It depends on what and where you eat. Try something that doesn't come from 7-11 for a change.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:45 am |
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