September 30, 2010

Pollan Power

If you're into food, you might have heard of this guy Michael Pollan. He wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, The Botany of Desire, and more. Do I think that Pollan has great ideas on food and how to improve the world of food in which we live? Yes. Do I think he is a god? No. Do I carry a copy of his newest book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual with me every time I go eat out? No, because that would be stupid and because no one needs a manual to be told how to eat.

But Michael Pollan, who is probably the foremost thinker on the food culture and politics in this country, does raise some really important ideas about how we should be thinking about eating, cooking and enjoying food. I'm writing about him because I encourage you to read an article he wrote earlier this year in The New York Review of Books about the food movement going on in this country right now. He makes some excellent points on the importance of what is going on with food right now:

It would be a mistake to conclude that the food movement’s agenda can be reduced to a set of laws, policies, and regulations, important as these may be. What is attracting so many people to the movement today (and young people in particular) is a much less conventional kind of politics, one that is about something more than food. The food movement is also about community, identity, pleasure, and, most notably, about carving out a new social and economic space removed from the influence of big corporations on the one side and government on the other.

So what can the food movement do for you and what can you do for it? Start by reading this article and then putting some thought into what you're going to eat tonight. It makes a bigger difference than you might think. As Pollan would say, Vote with Your Fork.