Michael Pollan

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so, as i suspect, he's just preaching to the choir. :( lee
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snipped-for-privacy@evil.net says...

So you"re saying that the choir doesn't need to be preached to?
It is the choir's voices that will make the difference in the end because the metaphorical choir amplifies the message and has more influence on and in real life.
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Who do you think "should" read "these types" of books (just another same ol'). What is the "proper audience"? If you can't be bothered, don't read the book. If you know all that is known about nutrition, then you don't need to read the book. But Pollan has brought the message of why industrial foods are bad to the 21st century. The forging of the diverse food movements into a single low carbon, healthy, slow food movement seems to have been precipitated by "Omnivore's Dilemma". What do feed lots have to do with cardio-vascular disease, when there are cultures that eat more meat than our's and don't suffer the same consequences? What does high fructose corn syrup have to do with obesity and type II diabetes? What are all those strange ingredients listed on the back of a cookie package? Is organic worth the extra price? Why are small mono-culture farmers having such a rough time surviving?
As Bill Wagner has pointed out, we now have a two tiered food system (industrial and industrial-organic). What is the difference? Obviously, Pollan mainly reaches the literate among us: people who read books. Knowing that the supermarket is filled with life threatening products (crap as you say) does not make me feel "smug" or, is that your way of feeling superior? If you wanted to explain to someone why processed food is bad, could you?
You will pleased to know that Pollan says in his most recent book,"Don't eat anything that your great grand mother wouldn't have recognized as food". He also suggests eating from the edges of the store, where the meat, cheese, and the produce is.
If your not curious what the fuss is about or, if you just don't care, don't read the book. I mean, if you know where all the furniture in the room is, why turn on the light?
The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. (yawn . . .)
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ct.net.au:

but, Billy, if the general population is NOT reading the book & not becoming educated, what difference will it ever make if *i* know what he says is true? yes, i have a 7 year old that reads the ingredients lists on packages & outright refuses to eat/drink anything containing HFCS. but he's one of how many thousands of 7 year olds? how is this book going to change how chosing healthy foods is taught in schools? how is it even going to change what kind of crap is *served* at schools? if the only people who are reading his books are people who already agree & just want confirmation, well, how is that going to change what the poor can afford to eat?
i'm not arguing that these aren't good, useful books (i have the new one, but not Omnivore's Dilemma), but i am saying that they probably aren't reaching those who need to really understand that preprocessed foods are NOT cheap, healthy choices. *those* people are frequently too busy to read, illiterate, non-English speakers, etc. lee
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Certainly not when you consider the later health impacts.

Lee, I can only use myself as an example. I had no preconceived ideas going into "Omnivore's Dilemma" except that except that I felt that a lot of the fiber and nutrients were being left out of processed foods and too much sugar and fat was going in. "Omnivore's Dilemma" dotted the "I"s and crossed the "T"s for me. Plus it notes, that some of the nutrients never made it in, much less got removed latter.
Strides are being made on children's lunch foods around the country. Whether it is incorporating gardening to teach math, science, nutrition, and cooking or working with a CSA to provide fresh, wholesome food to students.
The environmental movement started slowly with Rachel Carson and grew. The ideas will not always fall on fertile ground. I remember hearing an inner city activist complain that she could go out in her neighborhood and by an oz. of junk or crack, or an AK-47 but she couldn't buy an organic apple. There are groups trying to get healthy food to people who want it. I'm trying to hook up with a CSA for weekly boxes of veggies to complement my gardening. Whole Foods poses as the organic equivalent of industrial food but they in turn, pointed out by Pollan, still don't get it. Organic milk made by free roaming cows that require an acre each? Free range chickens that may have a small yard available to them if they can find it? The schuck and jive and, the full tilt spin is alive and well in "organic" land. This is also addressed by Pollan. I'm not saying buy the book. Your library must have it. Request it. Browse it. Then you'll have your own opinion.
A couple of other books I'd recommend for browsing would be:
Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket by Brian Halweil The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements by Sandor Ellix Katz
The "Omnivore's Dilemma" as Pollan sees it is that we can eat so many different things. Whereas some species are very restricted to what they can eat, we are nearly unlimited. Pollan argues that, in part, is what culture is for, to help us make the right food choices. In this country of diverse cultures, the food culture has become diluted to insignificance. We can only reconstitute our food culture, if the truths are nurtured.
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