Greg Critser writes in The Washington Monthly (“Mean Cuisine,” July/August issue) that today’s celebrity chefs have made it their mission “to school the country–or at least its aspiring elites–on the politics of food… In their worldview, food is no longer something to be enjoyed; it is something to be feared and understood through a complicated set of new rules that acknowledge the global implications of every plate of pâté.” Among the examples in Critser’s extraordinary article:

Peter Hoffman, chef and owner of New York’s upscale Savoy restaurant, proclaimed: “We do not need [vitamin-A enriched] golden rice… The Green Revolution was a dismal failure. We don’t need it now; we didn’t need it then.”

Headlining a recent press conference for the Chef’s Collaborative, Chicago chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter had this to say about genetically improved foods: “This untested technology diminishes the purity and taste of food.” For this he offered no evidence. World famous chef Alice Waters joined in the condemnation. “Flat out,” she pronounced, “No genetic engineering.”

“The cuisine of trepidation is All About Me,” concludes Critser. “It is about what it takes to make chefs and foodies feel superior to the uneducated masses. If that means weeping over an organic cherry, then they will weep over an organic cherry (and charge you $10 for doing so). If it means traveling to Belgium to find real organic chocolate, then they do just that (and bore you to death by telling you all about it on the menu). And if it means denying poor kids in India and Africa cheap and more nutritious GM rice — rice that might eventually prevent them from going blind — well, so be it.”