Friday, February 02, 2007

Food News: UnHappy Meals by Michael Pollan

"The story of how the most basic questions about what to eat ever got so complicated reveals a great deal about the institutional imperatives of the food industry, nutritional science and — ahem — journalism, three parties that stand to gain much from widespread confusion surrounding what is, after all, the most elemental question an omnivore confronts. Humans deciding what to eat without expert help — something they have been doing with notable success since coming down out of the trees — is seriously unprofitable if you’re a food company, distinctly risky if you’re a nutritionist and just plain boring if you’re a newspaper editor or journalist. (Or, for that matter, an eater. Who wants to hear, yet again, “Eat more fruits and vegetables”?) And so, like a large gray fog, a great Conspiracy of Confusion has gathered around the simplest questions of nutrition — much to the advantage of everybody involved. Except perhaps the ostensible beneficiary of all this nutritional expertise and advice: us, and our health and happiness as eaters."

I highly recommend taking a look at "Unhappy Meals" by Michael Pollan, published in the New York Times last weekend--to link to the article, click HERE. The article is super long, but well worth the read. Just the first page is a trove of information and revelation in itself. Michael Pollan is the author of Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma, and he is rapidly becoming a spokesperson for a new (or rather very very old) school of thought regarding our human consumption and enjoyment of food. He advocates eating "real" food that comes from sources you can trust and using your common sense to guide your food choices. His writing is part history lesson, part scientific research, and the rest is just darn good prose.

The NYTimes sends articles to "subscribers only" archives pretty quickly, so if the link to the article is down, shoot me an e-mail and I'll send you the full text.

1 comment:

Angelina said...

I just started reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma". I read "The Botany Of Desire" a couple of years ago and it had me glued to the book. He is such an amazing writer and one of my heros. Though that sounds really dumb, and for the kind of down to earth person he seems to be, it would also probably embarrass him to hear anyone say that.

I want to write as well as him, and about such interesting AND vital issues.

How can I get more people to read his work?