Julia Child, 1912-2004

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The world received the news today of the death of Julia Child -- a master cook, author, television personality -- and a lady with a great deal of common sense.

Julia was a good friend of ACSH (she graciously served on ACSH's 25th anniversary dinner committee in December of last year). Julia loved ACSH -- and its defense of sound science. "What's dangerous and discouraging about this era is that people really are afraid of their food," she told the Associated Press in 1989. "Sitting down to dinner is a trap, not something to enjoy. People should take their food more seriously. Learn what you can eat and enjoy it thoroughly."

I recall Julia coming to New York a few years back and agreeing to be a speaker at an ACSH-sponsored luncheon. Her comments were refreshing, given the food-phobias of our time. "How can you cook without butter, eggs, and sugar?" she asked. "Food is to be enjoyed, not shunned and feared" she added. "The key is using these and all other ingredients in moderation."

May her commonsense advice prevail as part of her legacy.

Elizabeth Whelan, Sc.D., M.P.H., is president of the American Council on Science and Health. See also Thomas R. DeGregori's reflection on Julia Child as a symbol of modern abundance.