Coffee with Pollan

I got up early this morning and had the pleasure of doing some thoughtful re-reading, over coffee, of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," Michael Pollan's classic exploration of American food ways. Part technical, part philosophical, his story informed so many of my views on food and home cooking; it was nice to review that today. It was like checking in with myself and where the VGoT project is going. Pollan's visionary book came out in 2007, and here we are in 2015, still wondering about the value versus cost of organics, the proper role of processed and packaged foods, whether or not Whole Foods supermarkets are a boon or a scourge. And that was the thing that jumped out at me: big organic versus the local organic. I generally take a broader view that is happy that we're discussing the kind of organic we want at all. But if big organic can serve more people who ordinarily wouldn't go to a food coop or a farmers market, then I say that's a win. And remember, organic is always GMO-free. Overall, I have to say I'm optimistic and encouraged by the changes that have taken place over the last ten years in the food culture of America. So much is up for discussion these days that was considered fringe thinking ten years ago. Consider school lunches and school gardens, or even industrial food makers who are dropping unnatural additives. I'm not declaring "victory!", but I'm encouraged. Change takes time, but it's moving. I'm excited by all the people who are interested in cooking more, refocusing on real family meals, or tinkering in the vegetable garden. Thanks again, Pollan, for articulating those complex issues so well. And now, as a guy who draws pictures about food, I'm wondering, what's next?

 

Old dog-eared copy of one of my favorite book.

Old dog-eared copy of one of my favorite book.