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Alton Brown on Foodies, Fame, Fast Food, and Guns

The eight best lines from his most recent interview with the New York Times Magazine.

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This week, the New York Times Magazine interviewed Food Network star, former Good Eats host, and all around kitchen genius Alton Brown. The traveling food geek-gourmet has a lot to say about the food world today. Here are the best lines from his most recent interview.

1.) 10 years ago, Alton Brown compared the food scene to the sex scene of the 1970s: free wheeling, anything goes excess. He observes that we're now in the 1980s: "The orgy of the unfamiliar and new has given way to something more focused and thoughtful."

2.) When asked about leaving the Southern Baptist Church he'd been a part of for so long, Brown demurs: "There is more to the act of sharing food with one another than simply saying 'Here is some food.' I do believe that there is a spiritual act in breaking bread and sitting down and being thankful."

3.) On Food Network's obsession with food porn: "When you take a subject that becomes a massively popular phenomenon, like food, it's mirroring other things in society as much as it's driving things in society."

4.) Powerful advice on wanting to work in food, in the public eye: "On Food Network Star, I got so tired of hearing people tell me that the reason they should have their own show is that they love food so much. Well, so freaking what? I love food. We all love food. If we don't, we die. Even supermodels in New York secretly love food. That doesn't make you special. And people who want to be stars often make the mistake of thinking that it does, and that if they can just show you how much they love it, they will somehow become compelling. This is not the case."

5.) On fast food: "We have designed our system to force people into nutritional slavery."

6.) On taking responsibility for our own nutrition: "...the second that our society starts thinking that shoveling Big Macs into our face is a disease then we're done, we're done as a culture."

7.) On carrying a gun: "I have guns. I have an office in a questionable part of town, and I'm often working there rather late at night. I have been accosted before, so I may or may not be armed at certain times."

8.) On cooking bacon on the barrel of a gun: "There are so many other cheaper, easier ways to cook bacon."