Tag Archives: michael pollan

Should one blog after so much beer?

8 Oct

Hello all of you (two?) faithful blog followers. Last night I saw Michael Pollan speak here on campus. I meant to write about it last night, but blogging already seems so self-righteous that I couldn’t deal with two blog posts in one day. Seriously. Assuming that I’m interesting enough for anyone to care what I have to say is already a little conceited. Oh well, it’s the culture we live in, right?

Anywho, for those of you who have read all of the (four?) entries so far, I’m reading up on Alicia Silverstone’s opinions on my diet. After being totally whatever as if awesome as Cher in Clueless. “My physician doesn’t want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose!” Anywho, after she enshrined an entire age, Alicia Silverstone became a vegan, and then an activist.

An interesting part of celebrity is their ability to disseminate information. Alicia Silverstone writes a book, with no expertise except her celebrity, and hundreds of people become vegans. She’s incredibly persuasive, so I get it. BY page 39 I was ready to throw away my smothered pork chops (ok, so maybe that isn’t true) and bring on the seitan. Anywho, the main point is health. In her book, ‘health’ means a healthy body, a healthy world, and healthy animals.

Michael Pollan also wants to talk to you about health. He is far more concerned with your health and the health of the planet than he is with the health of the animals, and I have to be honest and say that’s something I can get behind. He talked a lot, and was very entertaining, but the most important thing was this concept of ‘nutritionism.’ Basically, it’s a foodieology, where the priest who stands between us and God (healthy food) is a combination of big industry, the FDA, and nutritionists. We have decided that what is important is not the whole food, but the nutrients inside the food, which he argues started with McGovern and big ag business in the seventies. We attribute an almost holy nature to certain nutrients, but have no knowledge of nutrients, so we have to rely on some intermediary source to tell us what to eat. This is why processed ‘food’ (as he calls it, ‘food-like substance’) is so popular. You can put whatever magic nutrient you want, depending on what is currently in vogue.

Though there were certainly some political holes in his speech and answers to questions, I always appreciate people who are trying to get behind the food industry curtain to reveal who is pulling the wizard’s strings. Food can be such an incredible and excellent part of our lives, but not when we over-analyze and over-process it. Once I get done with The Kind Diet, I plan to read Michael Pollan’s new book, Food Rules, and his less-new book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now I have to sleep so I can get to the Women’s and Gender Studies Conference by the second panel at 10:45 AM. Oh, grad school.

And here it is, your moment of zen:

 

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