On my drive home today I plan to listen to Terry Gross interview Michael Pollan, from the Fresh Air podcast.
Michael Pollan has written two critically-acclaimed books that I want to read, but am scared to read, because they’re all about where our food comes from and the problems with the way we Westerners produce and consume it. It’s easier to be ignorant, you know? But apparently it’s also a lot less healthy. AND apparently it’s now a national security issue!
Really. The interview is titled Food as a National Security Issue, and it looks fascinating. Have a listen online, or get the podcast to listen to it later.
Here’s a quote from the interview (ht):
It’s one of the ironies of society that junk food being
sold by multi-national corporations, like McDonalds and Kraft, appears
to be populist. And food grown by struggling, scrupulous farmers is
I think that this movement to reform the food system, it’s mistaken
to think it’s a left or liberal movement. There is a groundswell on the
right also. There are many people who are trying to take back control
of their family dinner from the fast food companies. There are
evangelicals who are very interested in this food movement…. What is a
more traditional value than sitting down to dinner with your family,
and not going to McDonalds? I mean, this is the culinary equivalent of
To have healthier food, you either have to invest more money or more
time. And some people who can’t afford to invest more money could
invest more time. And what I mean by that is, cooking the food
yourself, spending a Sunday making three or four meals for the week,
once again learning the traditional talents of the kitchen, which in
the old days got three or four meals out of one chicken, rather than
just buying chicken breasts.
I just started Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” last night. You probably should read “Ominvore’s Dilemma” first. Yes, it is scary to realize what we’ve done to our food system — in all sorts of ways, from nutrition and health to environment and global warming, and security is probably not least of the concerns. Really, do you want to put anything in or on your body whose provenance is China these days? I’m going to try to get the Fresh Air podcast on my iPod (I know apple stuff is supposed to be so intuitive, but I really have trouble with it), and take it to the gym tomorrow morning. I’d be interested in your response to the interview.
Ben Sternke says
I will definitely post some of my reactions to the interview, Maria. I will read Omnivore’s Dilemma first at your recommendation. Thanks!