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significance/[siɡ'nifikəns]/ n. 重要性, 意义, 意味 ...

自考高级英语下册 Lesson 8 Science Has Spoiled My Supper

Lesson Eight Science Has Spoiled My Supper科 学 毁 了 我 的 晚 餐

By Philip Wylie菲利浦?怀利

I am a fan for Science .My education is scientific and I have , in one field , contributed a monograph to a scientific journal .

我是个科学迷。我是学科学的,曾为一份科学刊物写过某个领域的一篇专题 文章。

Science , to my mind , is applied honesty , the one reliable means we have to find out truth .

在我看来,科学需运用诚实,是我们发现真理的唯一可靠的手段。

That is why , when error is committed in the name of science , I feel the way a man would if his favorite uncle had taken to drink .

因此在 以科学的名义做错事时,我的感觉就像一个人最喜欢的叔叔染上酒瘾后的心情一样。

Over the years , I have come to feel that way about what science has done to food .

多年以来,我感觉到科学给食品带来这样的影响。

I agree that America can set as good a table as any nation in the world .

我承认美国能提供和世界上任何国家同样丰盛的宴席。

I agree that our food is nutritious (有營養成分)and that the diet of most of us is well-balanced .

承认我们的食物富有营养,我们多数人的饮食中营养均衡。

What America eats is handsomely packaged ; it is usually clean and pure ; it is excellently preserved.

我美国人吃的东西包装考究,一般都清洁纯净,保存很好。

The only trouble with it is this ; year by year it grows less good to eat . It appeals increasingly to the eye . But who eats with his eyes ?

唯一的问题是,食品的味道一年比一年差。但它对眼睛的吸引力越来越大。但是谁会用眼睛来吃东西呢?

Almost everything used to taste better when I was a kid .

我小的时候差不多什么东西都比现在好吃。

For quite a long time I thought that observation was merely another index of advancing age .

在相当长的一段时期内我以为自己这种感觉只不过是表明自己岁数愈来愈大的又一标志。

But some years ago , I married a girl whose mother is an expert cook of the kind called “ old –fashioned “.

但几年前我和一个女孩结了婚,她的母亲是被称为“老式”烹任的高手,

This gifted woman’s daughter ( my wife ) was taught her mother’s venerable skills .

这位能干女人的女儿(我的妻子)学会了她母亲的古老的手艺。

She still buys dairy products from the neighbors and , in so far as possible , she uses the same materials her mother and grandmother did ---to prepare meals that are superior .

她仍从街坊四邻那儿购买奶制品,而且尽可能地用她母亲和祖母用的材料,准备出上等的美食佳肴。

They are just as good as I recall them from my courtship .

它们的味道也和我回忆中当年追求她时一样好。

After eating fro a while at the table of my mother-in-law , it is sad to go back to eating with my friends ----even the alleged (所謂的)“ good cooks “ among them .

在我岳母家的餐桌上吃了一会儿以后,回过头去 和朋友们一起吃饭就太可悲了,即使他们中有被称作是“好厨子”的

And it is a gruesome experience to have meals at the best big-city restaurants .。而在大城市最好的餐馆里吃饭则令人作呕。

Take cheese , for instance . Here and there , in big cities , small stores and delicatessens specialize in cheese .

以奶酪为例。在大城市到处都有一些小店和熟食店专营奶酪。

At such places , one can buy at least some of the first –rate cheeses that we used to eat

在这些地方, 至少还能买到过去吃过的一些最好的奶酪

---such as those we had with pie and macaroni (通心粉).

比如我们在吃馅饼和通心粉时吃的奶酪。

The latter were sharp but not too sharp . They were a little crumbly .(易碎的)

后一种味道重但又不过重,有点易碎。

We called them American cheeses ; actually they were Cheddars .

我们把它们称作美国奶酪,其实就是切达奶酪。

Long ago , this cheese began to be supplanted(替代) by a material called “ cheese foods “ .

很久以前,这种奶酪开始被一种叫做“奶酪食品”的东西所代替。

Some cheese foods are fairly edible ; but no one comes within miles of the old kind ---for flavor(味道) .

有些奶酪食品是可以吃的,但是在味道上没有一种能和原来的奶酪相比。

A grocer used to be very fussy(挑剔) about his cheese .

过去食品杂货商对自己出售的奶酪很挑剔。

Cheddar was made and sold by hundreds of little factories .

切达奶酪是由成百的小工厂生产和销售的,

Representatives of the factories had particular customers , and cheese was prepared by hand to suit the grocers , who knew precisely what their patrons wanted .

工厂的营销人员有各自的客户。奶酪都是按食品商的要求手工制造的,他们清楚地知道自己的老主顾想要什么样的奶酪。

Some liked them sharper ; some liked them yellower ; some liked anise seed in cheese大茴香 ,or caraway . 芷茴香

有的喜欢味道重一些,有的喜 欢颜色黄一些,有的喜欢在奶酪里加或芷茴香。

What happened ? Science ----or what is called scicence ---stepped in .

后来怎么样了呢?科学或所谓的科学一一插手进来。

The old –fashioned cheese didn’t ship well enough .

老式的奶酪不易运输。

They crumbled , became moldy , dried out .

它们易碎、发霉、变干。

“ Scientific marketing “ then took effect . Its motto is :” Give the people the least quality they’ll stand for .

于是,“科学销售”’便开始生效了,其座右铭是“给人们能够承受的最低质量的东西”

“ In food , as in many other things , the “ Scientific marketers “ regard quality as secondary as long as they can sell most persons anyhow .

同在许多事情上一样,食品的“科学销售者”只要能设法让多数人买他们的东西,质量对他们来说就是次要的东西。

It is not possible to make the very best cheese in vast quantities at a low average cost .

要在平均成本低的情况下大量生产出最上等的奶酪是不可能的。

“ Scientific samplings “科學取樣got in its statistically nasty work .

“科学抽样” 做了令人讨厌的统计工作,

It was found that the largest number of people will buy something that is bland(平淡的) and rather tasteless .

结果发现大多数人都会买平淡的没什么味道的东西。

Those who prefer a product of a pronounced and individualistic flavor(明顯獨特風味產品)have a variety of preferences(各種不同的愛好) . Nobody is altogether pleased by bland foodstuff , in other words ; but nobody is very violently put off .

那些喜欢有明显独特风味产品的人有各种不同的爱好,也就是说,没有人会完全喜欢平淡无味的食物,但也没有人会厌恶到不去买的地步。

The results is that a “ reason “ has been found for turning out zillions of packages of something that will “ do “ for nearly all and isn’t even imagined to be superlatively good by a single soul .

其结果是得出一个“ 理由”,去生产出大量的包装食品。这些食品几乎所有的人都能“凑合着用”,但是不会有人认为它们是特别好的东西。

Economics entered . It is possible to turn out in quantity a bland(無味的) , impersonal(沒有特色的) , practically imperishable substance more or less resembling (幾乎是永遠不會腐亂的), say cheese ---at lower cost than cheese .

经济学起作用了。用低于生产奶酪的成本生产出大量淡而无味的,没有特色 的,几乎是永远不会腐烂的,或多或少像奶酪的物质,这是可能的。

Chain groceries shut out the independent stores and “ standardization “ became a principal means of cutting cost .

连锁食品杂货店挤垮了独立经营的商店,“标准化”变成了降低成本的主要手段。

Imitations (仿造品)also came into the cheese business .

仿造品也进入了奶酪经营。

There are American duplications of most of the celebrated European cheeses , massproduced and cheaper by far than the imports .

多数享有盛誉的欧洲奶酪都有美国造的仿制品,是大批量生产出来的,比进口的便宜得多。

They would cause European food –lovers to gag (惡心0and guffaw(哄笑) ---but generally , the imitations are all that’s available in the supermarkets . people buy them and eat them .

这些东西会使欧洲的美食家们恶心或哄笑——但一般说来,仿制品在超市随处可见。人们购买并食用这些东西。

For years , I couldn’t’ figure out what had happened to vegetables . I knew , of course , that most vegetables , to be enjoyed in their full deliciousness , must be picked fresh and cooked at once .

多年来,我搞不明白蔬菜的问题出在哪儿。我当然知道,大多数蔬菜如要吃起来味道好,必须在新摘的,并立即烹调。

I knew that vegetables cannot be overcooked and remain even edible , in the best sense . They cannot stand on the stove .

我知道蔬菜煮过了头就不可能好吃, 蔬菜不能煮得时间过长。

That set of facts makes it impossible , of course , for any American restaurant ----or , indeed , any city-dweller(城市居民)separated from supply by more than a few hours ---to have decent(象樣的) fresh vegetables . the Parisians manage by getting their vegetables picket at dawn and rushed in farmers’ carts to market, where no middle or marketman delays produce on its way to the pot .当然,美国任何一家餐馆——或者任何一个超过几小时得不到蔬菜供应的城市居民——都不可能弄到象样的新鲜蔬菜。巴黎人解决这个问题的办法是在天亮时摘好蔬菜,然后农民用车运到市场上去,农产品进入餐锅这一过程没有中间商或营销商。

Our vegetables , however , come to us through a long chain of command .

然而,我们的蔬菜是经过一个长长的控制环节才供应到我们手中。

There are merchants of several sorts -----wholesalers (批發商)before the retailers(零售商) , commission men(代理商) , and so on ----with the result that what were once edible products become, in transit, mere wilted leaves and withered tubers .

有好几种商人一一先是批发商,接着是零售商,代理商等等。结果,一度是可食用的农产品在运输过程中变成了一堆干枯的叶子和干瘪的块茎。

Homes and restaurants do what they can with this stuff ----which my mother---in ---law would discard on the spot .

家庭和饭馆尽其所能利用这些东西——我的岳母会当场把它们扔掉。

I have long thought that the famed blindfold test for cigarettes should be applied to city vegetables .

我早就想到,那出了名的蒙上眼睛品测香烟的做法也该应用到城市蔬菜上来。

For I am sure that if you pureed them blindfolded , you couldn’t tee(分辯) the beans from the peas , the turnips from the squash (南瓜).

因为我确 信如果蒙上眼睛品尝蔬菜浓汁,你分辨不出是菜豆还是豌豆,萝卜还是南瓜。

It is only lately that I have found how much science of genetics (遺傳)is involved .

只是在最近一段时间我才发现遗传科学在这里起了多大的作用。

Agronomists and the like have taken to breeding all sorts of vegetables and fruits ----changing their original nature .

农学家之类 的人物搞起了各种蔬菜和水果的培育一一改变它们原有的特性。

This sounds wonderful and often is insane . For the scientists have not as a rule taken any interest whatsoever in the taste of the things they’ve tampered with !

这听起来妙不可言而常常是极其愚蠢的。因为通常这些科学家在鼓捣这些东西的时候对它们的味道会变得如何丝毫不感兴趣。

What they have done is to develop “ improved “ strains of things for every purpose but eating .

他们为了各种目的培育“改良”品种,却不考虑吃。

They work out , say , peas that will ripen all at once .

例如,他们搞出了成熟快的豌豆品种,

The farmers can then harvest his peas and thresh them and be done with them .

这样农民使可以收获,脱粒,然后就完事了

It is extremely profitable because it is efficient . What matters if such peas taste like boiled paper wads ?

由于效率高,这种做法极其有利可图。至于这种豌豆吃起来像煮纸团,又有什么关系呢?

Geneticists have gone crazy over such “ opportunities “. They ‘ve developed string beans that are straight instead of curved , and all one length .

遗传学家对于这一类的“机会”简直着了迷,培育出直的而不是弯的菜豆,而且全都一样长。

This makes them easier to pack in cans , even if , when eating them , you can’t tell them from tender string .

这样做起罐头来容易,哪怕吃的时候你分不出吃的是菜豆还是嫩菜筋。.

Ripening time and identity of size and shape are , nowadays , more important in carrots than the fact that they taste like carrots .

现在胡萝卜的成熟时间和大小形状一样比吃起来有胡萝卜味这一事实更为重要。

They are producing onions that only vaguely remind you of onions .

他们生产的洋葱只能使你模模糊糊地有那么一点感到像洋葱。

We are getting some varieties , in fact , that have less flavor than the water off last week’s leeks .

事实上, 现在有些品种的洋葱还不如放了一星期的韭菜汁水味道足

Yet , if people don’t eat onions because they taste like onions , what do they eat them for

如果人们吃洋葱不是因为它们有洋葱的味道,那么人们究竟为什么要吃洋葱呢?

The women’s magazines are about one third dedicated(專注於)to clothes , one third to mild comment on sex , and the other third to recipes (菜譜)and pictures of handsome salads , desserts , and main courses .

妇女杂志大约1/3的篇幅是关于衣着的,l/3是对两性关系的温和评论,另外的l/3则是菜谱和美观的沙拉,甜食和主菜的图片

“ Institutes “ exist to experiment and tell housewives how to cook attractive meals and how to turn leftovers into works of art .

有“训练班”专门试验,教给主妇们如何烹制一餐好看的食物,如何把剩菜变成艺术品。

The food thus pictured looks like famous paintings of still life . The only trouble is it’s tasteless .

这样,拍成照片 的食物看上去就像一幅著名的静物画。唯一不尽人意的问题是吃起来没有味道。

I wonder if this blandness of our diet doesn’t explain why so many of us are overweight and even dangerously so .

我在想不知道我们饮食的这种淡而无味的状况,是不是造成我们之中这么多人过于肥胖的原因,有的甚至胖到了危险的程度`

When things had flavor , we knew what we were eating all the while ----and it satisfied us .

当食物有滋味的时候,我们从 头到尾都知道自己吃的是什么,从中得到满足。

A teaspoonful of my mother-in-law ‘s wild strawberry jam will entirely satisfy your jam desire .

尝一茶匙我岳母做的草萄酱就能完全满足你的果酱欲。

But , of the average tinned or glass packed strawberry jam , you need half a cupful to get the idea of what you’re eating .

但是一般的罐头或瓶装草毒酱你得吃上半茶杯才知道自己吃的是什么。

That thought is worthy of genuine scientific investigation .

上述的那种想法是值得去进行真正的科学研究。

It is merely a hypothesis , so far , and my own .

迄今为止,这仅仅是一种假设。而且是我个人的假设。`

But people have been eating according to flavor for upwards of a billion years .

但是人们已经根据滋味来吃东西吃了十亿年以上了。

The need to satisfy the sense of taste may be innate and important .

满足味觉的需要很可能是人天生的重要需求。

When food has the flavor of library paste , it may be the instinct of mankind to go on eating in the unconscious hope of finally satisfying the frustrated taste buds .

当食物吃起来像图书馆里的浆糊,也许人类的本能会使他不断地吃下去,不知不觉地希望最终能满足灰心失望的味蕾的渴望。

In the days when good –tasting food was the rule in American home , obesity(肥胖) wasn’t such a national curse .

在美国家庭食物还是好味道的时候,肥胖症并没有成为这样的全国性的灾难。

It is , however , “ deep-freezing “ that has really rung down the curtain on American cookery .

然而真正敲响美国烹调丧钟的还是“低温冷藏”。

Nothing is improved by the process . I have yet to taste a deep-frozen victual(食品) that measures up , in flavor , to the fresh , unfrosted original .

这一过程并没有使任何东 西有所改进。我还从来没尝到过任何经过低温冷藏的食物在味道上能达到新鲜未冻过的同样食物的水平。

And most foods , cooked or uncooked , are destroyed in the deep freeze for all people of sense an sensibility .

大多数的食物无论是生是熟,对所有具有理性和感觉的人来说经过低温冷藏后就全完了。

Vegetables with crisp and cracking texture emerge as mush , slippery and stringy as hair nets simmered in Vaseline . The essential oils that make peas peas ---and cabbage cabbage ----must undergo fission and fusion in freezers . Anyhow , they vanish . Some meats turn to leather . Others to wood pulp .

质地爽脆的蔬菜出来后就像在凡士林中炖过的发网一样粘糊糊,滑溜溜,筋拉拉的。使豌豆成其为豌豆——甘蓝成为甘蓝—— 的精油在低温冷藏箱中一定经过裂变与聚变。总之,它们消失了。有些肉类变成了皮革,另一些则成了木纸浆。

Of course , all this scientific “ food handling “食品處理 tends to save money .

当然,所有这一切科学的“食品处理”有助于省钱。

It certainly preserves food longer . It reduces work at home .

它当然使食品可以保存更长的时间,减少了家中的家务。

But these facts , and especially the last , imply that the first purpose of living is to avoid work ----at home , anyhow .

但是这些事实,尤其是最后一条,意味着生活的第一目的就是避免干活,至少是避免在家里干活。

Without thinking , we are making an important confession(自白) about ourselves as a nation .

我们作为一个民族不假思索地做出了一个重要的自白:

We are abandoning quality ---even , to some extent , the quality of people .

我们抛弃了质量——甚至在某种程度上抛弃了人应有的质量。

The “ best “ is becoming too good for us .

我们没有资格享有“最好”的东西。

We are suckling (哺乳)ourselves on machine-made mediocrity(平庸的東西) . It is bad for our souls , our minds , and our digestion(消化).

我们靠机器制造出来的平庸的东西哺育自己,这对我们的灵魂,我们的头脑和我们的消化都是不好的。

It is the way our wiser and calmer forebears (祖先)fed , not people , but hogs ; as much as possible and as fast as possible , with no standard of quality .

这是我们较为聪明的,较为冷静的先人用来喂猪而不是喂人 的方法。越多越好而且越快越好,根本没有质量的标准。

The Germans say , “ Man is what he eats . “ If this be true , the people of the U.S.A. are well on their way to becoming a faceless mob of mediocrities (平庸之輩了).

德国人说:“人由其所吃食物定优劣。”如果这话是真的,那么美国人就快要变成一群毫无特点的平庸之辈了。

And if we apply to other attributes the criteria ,we would not want bright children any more ; we’d merely want them to look bright ---and get through school fast .

如果我们以近来用在饮食上的标准来衡量人的其他品质,就会是这个结果。我们不再要聪明的孩子了,我们只要他们看上去聪明就行了——而且能快速完成学业。

We wouldn’t be interested in beautiful women ----just a good paint job .

我们不会对美貌女子感兴趣了,只要涂抹 得好就行了。

And we ‘d be opposed to the most precious quality of man : his individuality , his differentness from the mob .

而且我们会反对人最宝贵的品质人的个性,他与芸芸众生的区别。

There are some people ----sociologists and psychologists among them ----who say that is exactly what we Americans are doing , are becoming .

有一些人一一包括社会学家与心理学家——说这就是我们美国人正在干的事,正在改变的样子。

Mass man , they say , is on the increase .

他们说群体型人越来越多了。

Conformity , standardization , similarity ----all on a cheap and vulgar level ----are replacing the great American ideas of colorful liberty and dignified individualism .

顺从适应,标准统一,相似相仿 一一全按低劣庸俗的本平——正在取代美国人具有的多彩的自由与高贵的个性的伟大观念。

If this is so , the process may well begin , like most human behavior , in the home ----in those homes where a good meal has been replaced by something –to –eat-in –a –hurry .

如果真是这样,那么这一过程和多数人类行为一样很可能从家庭中开始,在那些家庭里,像样的膳食被速食所取代;

By something not very good to eat , prepared by a mother without very much to do , for a family that doesn’t feel it amounts to much anyhow .

被没有多少事情可做的母亲为家里准备的不怎么可口的东西所取代,家里人觉得这并不是什么要紧的事。

I call , here , for rebellion .

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