So last week the New Yorker published its annual food issue, cramming the print version with such articles as an exploration of the underground world of Sandor Katz and his fermented-foods quest and a painful family memoir by Chang-Rae Lee.
Not much of this was available online, unfortunately, and neither is this week’s wacky food story, about the possible deification of global economist and food-reform activist Raj Patel. Patel, who would much rather be left alone as an ordinary guy instead of a pan-deity known as Maitreya, just can’t win:
Patel’s disclaimer only agitated his acolytes, many of whom interpreted it as further proof that Patel was Maitreya after all, the humble savior deferring recognition in a soft of crafty P.R. move. . . . Like George Costanza’s girlfriend, on “Seinfeld,” Patel’s followers refused to accept that he didn’t want to be in a relationship with them. His rejection only increased their devotion.
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The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
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