Monday, December 1, 2008

In Defense of Food

I just watched Bill Moyers interview with Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. It was excellent, full of, not just insightful ideas, but what we can do, now, to reform our food system. You can watch (and read) the whole interview here:

Cheers and blessings, Marion


BILL MOYERS: What else? Give me a list, quickly, of what we can do to make a difference in this reforming the food system.

MICHAEL POLLAN: Well, plant a garden. If you've got space, and if you don't, look into a community garden where you might rent a little bit of space, like we saw in East New York.

Cook. Simply by starting to cook again, you declare your independence from the culture of fast food. As soon as you cook, you start thinking about ingredients. You start thinking about plants and animals, and not the microwave. And you will find that your diet, just by that one simple act, that is greatly improved. You will find that you are supporting local agriculture, because you'll care about the quality of ingredients. And you know, whether you're cooking or not is one of the best predictors for a healthy diet. It's more important than the class predictor. People with more money generally have healthier diets, but affluent people who don't cook are not as healthy in their eating as poor people who still cook. So, very, very important. If you don't have pots and pans, get them.

Now people say they don't have time, and that's an issue. And I am saying that we do need to invest more time in food. Food is just too important to relegate to these 10-minute corners of our lives. And you know, even if you would just take, you know, we watch cooking shows like crazy on television. We've turned cooking into a spectator sport. If you would merely invest the time you spend watching cooking shows in actually cooking, you would find you've got plenty of time to put a meal on the table.

1 comment:

Duane Dvorak, KIB Planner said...

The American Planning Association (APA) has published a recent article about Food Planning. Food does not frequently come up as an issue in community and regional planning process. Usually, that is left to the private sector while we concern ourselves with projected infrastructure needs, community character and quality of life issues.

Occasionally the issue may come up in the context of losing agricultural lands to commercial and residential development. In Kodiak we are particularly vulnerable to a disruption of our food supply lines due to our increasing "just-in-time" mentality towards food and groceries. It is recommended that each household in Kodiak have at least 7 days supply of food and water for that reason in case a disaster were to interrupt our food (and water) supplies.

The community has a limited ability to store and keep food, particularly fresh produce and perishables like dairy products. Although the APA approached this issue from a different perspective from the author Michael Pollan, it might still be of interest to those concerned with community sustainability.