Last week I had the incredible good fortune to trek through rain and fog and treachery to see the always charming and insightful Michael Pollan speak in Syracuse. For those of you uninitiated in his teachings Michael Pollan is the de-facto voice of a generation of food conscious eaters and activists. Google “locavore” and you’ll probably find him or one of his many articles, interviews, or books.

Mr. Pollan became (most) famous for his excellent treatment of modern food and eating in the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” in which he confronted a question that seems so basic at face value but requires serious consideration: what should we eat? When confronted with so many choices and so many poor stand-ins for food, how do we navigate a largely inhospitable food landscape? It’s a seriously worthwhile book and the best introduction to foodie-intellectualism (yes, this a real thing) that you’ll come across.

Once you read it, move on to “In Defense of Food.” In it, Michael Pollan defends his now-famous mantra “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The hard part, he claims, is determining what constitutes Food and how to create a culture where people have access to healthy, wholesome foods.

At the talk Pollan basically restated the ideas he’s written extensively about. Having read his books I was hoping for more development of ways forward for the American food system. But Mr. Pollan was certainly catering to his audience, comprising largely people over 50 who seemed shocked by stats on sugar consumption and childhood obesity. Old hat for a seasoned Pollan veteran like myself. All was not lost, however, the speech was inspiring and gave me some new ammo to defend my eating and buying choices, not that I was particularly concerned to begin with.

If you don’t know him already, read this article (and check out his website here) by Michael Pollan from the NY Times Magazine, it summarizes his research, writings, and thoughts on the future. He’s also quite funny and quite potentially me hero…

Advertisements