What a delight to wake up, on Wednesday, April 5, to a story on the cover of the New York Times dining section, page D1, titled, “The Hippies Have Won.” On line, the same article includes the parenthesized subheading, “(the Plate, at Least).”
The article, by Christine Muhlke, opens with:

“It’s Moosewood’s world. We’re just eating in it.

“Consider granola: The word used to be a derogatory term. Now it’s a supermarket category worth nearly $2 billion a year. Kombucha was something your art teacher might have made in her basement. The company GT’s Kombucha brews more than a million bottles annually and sells many of them at Walmart and Safeway. And almond milk? You can add it to your drink at 15,000 Starbucks locations for 60 cents.

“Just as yoga and meditation have gone mainstream (and let’s not get started on designer Birkenstocks), so have ideas and products surrounding health, wellness and eating that play like a flashback to the early 1970s.

“Co-op staples of that time — the miso, tahini, dates, seeds, turmeric and ginger that were absorbed from other cultures and populated the Moosewood restaurant cookbooks — now make appearances at some of the most innovative restaurants in the country, where menus are built around vegetables and heritage grains. Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise; and kale, the bacon of the clean-eating moment, is now routinely heaped on salad plates across the land.”

The story discusses the explosion of healthy, largely vegan dishes in top restaurants, tells us that, “veggie burgers and grain bowls, once a menu rarity, can be had at chains like Hillstone and Sweetgreen,” and notes “the release of many vegetable-rich and raw-food cookbooks….”

The fermentation craze is also noted, and we read that one of its leaders “bristles at the association of fermentation with hippiedom” and says that “punk is much more resonant.” I am sure the many vegans who came from the Straight Edge punk movement will feel the same about veganism being associated with hippies.

The utterly heartening article can be found on line at http://tinyurl.com/msah7p2 

It clearly invites letters that sing the praises of plant-based diets, and opens the door for letters that expand the discussion to include animals, the environment, or anything you are moved to discuss – in 150 words or less. The New York Times takes letters at letters@nytimes.com

and requests that you include your full name, address, and daytime phone number for verification purposes. 

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