Although, especially in the English-speaking world, there is a countervailing current of neo-Puritanism that may sabotage the future of dining. The view that hedonistic enjoyment of food is sinful has strong traction in some quarters, and these quarters are growing as a matter of demographic fact.
Steven, I think you've made an interesting point here, and it is a concern I share. I'm hoping you will expand on this thought, and in the interim (with a green light from Bux, of course), I'd like to offer my comments on the subject.
What I find most troubling is that anti-hedonistic ideal combined with the notion of food itself as enemy. Our culture has become so trained by various media sources to believe that certain foods are a dangerous substance (yet they may be the best thing for us day after tomorrow) that to many, Twinkies become a balm for a confused soul when no one is looking.
If I were to paint my ideal future for dining in this country (and even worldwide), it would include the premise that nothing should be forbidden, but rather enjoyed as part of life, in reasonable quantities. Somehow, that ideal has never been embraced by our all-or-nothing culture, yet the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" is a bestseller, as if it is revealing a secret of the ages.
As gourmands I'm sure we are seen as the most guilty of hedonists, as we seek more than sustenance in this lifetime; we tend to be incredibly passionate, and sometimes bombastic in our epicurean pursuits. Perhaps that makes us frightening to a lost culture?
We embrace pleasure as something that ought to be experienced at the table, no matter how fast the world outside is moving. That the focus of our detractors is placed upon the extreme of gluttony instead of simple pleasure paints a telling picture of skewed priorities.
To change those priorities, however, would take the unraveling of decades of mores. What a task.
I, for one, am ready and willing to take it on, however.
A Satiated Sinner