Obligatory Michael Pollan Post

Giraffe with HeadphonesYes, yes, I know everyone’s doing it, but I’m listening to the Free Library Podcast of a book talk by Michael Pollan and I’m struck by a few observations:

  • Pollan says “nutritionism” (viewing foods as collections of nutrients instead of, you know, foods) is like surgery in the 1600s. A young science, something you might want to observe, but not something you want to participate in for a couple hundred years.
  • There are as many neurons in your gut as there are in your spinal column.
  • Cultural foodways have wisdom. “Traditional diets” – whatever the tradition – keep those people healthy. There is not one ideal diet for the human body.
  • Be careful when looking at traditional foods, because often what we associate with a particular culture are “banquet foods.” Southern fried chicken? Used to be you made that a couple times of year when the whole family gathered to celebrate a major occasion. So his other advice: eat anything you want, so long as you cook it yourself. “Making French fries is like childbirth. It takes a while to forget how much work it was before you want to do it again.”
  • We don’t really cook anymore, but we’ve turned cooking into a spectator sport on TV. “Watching something on TV is bad for actually doing that thing.” His next comment brought the house down…I won’t ruin the moment. 🙂
  • GMO potatoes are not grown in the US because something like 100 people wrote to McDonald’s and said they didn’t want GMO potatoes in their fries.
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3 Comments

  1. onestraw said,

    January 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    That last one is the most important to me -it helps to reaffirm that people do still matter at times. I certainly see that in local politics here on the fringe of rural America.

    From the buzz it sounds like Pollan has done it again. That’s good news!

    -Rob

  2. Robyn M. said,

    January 14, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Okay, I give. Is there some trick to getting iTunes to open this??? I want it on my iPod, damnit! I need to listen to Pollan while I work out!

  3. Robyn M. said,

    January 14, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Nevermind, I WIN! I got it. =D


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