Saturday, April 04, 2009

Omnivore's Dilemma

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting -- and even sharing a meal with -- Michael Pollan. For most of human history, all food was local and organic, and the biggest worry about food was simply getting enough of it. Now food is abundant but problematic. Nobody does a better job of the problems of modern food than Pollan, whose books point to valuable remedies.

For example, he advises us not to eat anything our great-grandmothers would not recognize as food. I try to imagine telling my own great-grandmother that such advice would ever need to be given. She died in 1987 at the age of 102, having eaten local, organic food all of her life (though she did try a hot dog in her last decade).

Pollan also told us that before becoming a famous author, he had difficulty getting editors interested in his writings about agriculture. When he started telling them that the articles were about food, they became much more interested. The connection between the two had not been obvious to them, which is a sad and telling symptom of our current disconnection from our food.

Read about Pollan's visit at Eating Right, Living Well. My modest geography of food page has many other links about this important subject.

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