Q. I would love to hear what you think about hydroponic food. My instincts tell me that organic soil is full of life and traces of nutrients and elements we don’t fully understand and here we have another frankenfood that is scientifically derived.
A. Frankenfood is too strong but I’m basically with you on this one. I don’t get hydroponics. Obviously scientists have figured out enough about plant nutrient requirements to keep them alive in water and nutrient broth but what’s the point? Soil works really well and is bound to contain substances we don’t even know about. These may even influence taste.
Chefs say even the best of hydroponic vegetables, according to a recent New York Times article, are not considered serious replacements for field-grown lettuces because they can’t reproduce the flavor.
My suspicion? People who like hydroponics don’t like getting their hands dirty (but isn’t that half the fun?).
Next public appearance
This is a conversation about 101 Classic Cookbooks, 501 Classic Recipes (Rizzoli Books, 2013), with Clark Wolf, Marvin Taylor (curator NYU Fales Library), Rose Levy Beranbaum (author, The Cake Bible), and Madhur Jaffrey (actor and author). 7:30 p.m. 92ndY Tribeca, 200 Hudson St, Price $15, RSVP: here