National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Bad News from France

In this morning's Washington Post, there is an article about the decision by UNESCO to recognize lunch in France as part of the "intangible cultural heritage" of the world, along with flamenco dancing and Peking opera.

But further down in the piece, we read this: "In fact, the traditional French meal has been meeting with growing indifference on its home ground as the demands of a modern economy encourage quick, alcohol-free lunches, partilcularly among the young." The article noted that sandwich consumption is up by 10 percent per year.

Whenever conservative cultural critics extol the free market and traditional values, watch your wallet. Here is another example, a small one admittedly, of the modern economy tearing away at the fabric of culture. And there is no way to blame this new phenomenon on the 60's or gays or drugs. The "acids of modernity," about which Walter Lippmann warned in 1926, have begun eating away at the way the French eat. Here is cause for some new evangelization.

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