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The Whole Truth: Questions for Mark Bittman

The high-spirited, highly unorthodox New York Times food columnist has made an art of cooking quickly, simply, and with plenty of kick. 

The feast continues with "The Food Matters Cookbook" (Simon & Schuster), a guide to eating less meat and processed foods to preserve our health and the planets.

If I could say one thing to myself 20 years ago...
Things will get better, not worse.

My favorite place in the world...
The United States.

The lesson I keep learning over and over...
Most things that seem hard at first get easier, in either 10 minutes or 10 years.

The movie I watch when I want to laugh...
"A Night at the Opera" [the Marx Brothers].

The most scared I've ever been...
Cannot talk about it.

No one knows I...
Will not talk about it.

Unhealthiest thing I've ever passed off as dinner...
Hmm. Roast beef?

Personal philosophy...
Seriously? The Golden Rule.

Book that changed my life...
There are many. Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" is one. "Thank You, Jeeves" [P.G. Wodehouse] is another.

I unwind by...
Running, cooking, drinking, sleeping.

Proudest moment in my career...
Landing a column ["The Minimalist"] at the New York Times.

What keeps me up at night...
Writing a column for the New York Times. Well, not really. I'm 60, therefore: death.

I define "downtime" as...
Almost any time a computer screen is not in front of me.

Coffee or tea?
Both.

Guiltiest pleasure...
Corned beef.

My mom was right about...
Cooking being a worth-while activity.

My mom was wrong about...
The right way to cook hamburgers.

The last time I lost my temper was...
Yesterday.

My favorite moment of the day...
It's either waking up or going to sleep, but it depends on the day.

I wish I had more time for...
Movies.

I always make time for...
Cooking.

I'm currently reading...
"War and Peace" (yes, really).

Home means...
Love.

Read about Mark Bittman's "Vegan Until Dinner" philosophy.

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