Thursday, August 14, 2008

Emerging From a Hole

I know I talk about food a lot here. Not only do I find it a really interesting subject, but it is also something that affects each and every one of us on a daily basis. Food's important any way you look at it.

For what seems like forever, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma has been at the top of my list of books to read. Because of school and other activities, I hadn't gotten around to it until this week, when I have been lucky enough to be at my cottage with lots of time to spare. So I read it. I devoured it, really [pun intended]. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down, finishing it in just a few days. I LOVED it.

The kind of funny thing is that nothing in the book particularly surprised me. It made me realize how much I have learned in the last year or so about food, and our "modern" food system, as well as the kind of food system I want to be a part of [local!]. Since I'm in that just-finished-it haze, now I have to recommend it to everyone who hasn't yet read it. I figure, if I made it this far without reading it, there are others like me. Granted, I have read a fair number of Pollan's articles, and he was already pretty much one of my heroes. But now, now, it's official.

I just sent an email to the keeper of a blog titled The Daily Coyote. She posted an email from a reader who had concerns with the ways cows are treated as they enter our food chain. I thought The Omnivore's Dilemma would be a good way for that person, as well as all followers of the blog, to be introduced to the very subject s/he was asking about.

"I read with great interest the email from the person who was torn about their relationship to food, meat especially. In the last year or two I have become quite interested in our food system, trying to eat locally and buy produce and meat, as well as milk, eggs, flour... from farmers whom I can talk to and ascertain the origin of everything that I'm eating.

" . . . I think that even someone who wasn't aware of how our industrial food system works, or how local agriculture benefits us as well as animals and the environment, would find it a really good entry into the subject. Pollan clearly illustrates the complexity of it all, and the difficulty we all face in choosing what is right for us and our lives. It is organized in a way that is approachable and riveting.

"Maybe even if you didn't want to post this on the blog, you could at least direct it on to that specific person? Sounds like they are searching for answers and not quite sure where to start."

1 comment:

Marci said...

Omnivore's Dilemma has been on the top of my list for a while too, although, same as you, he's been my hero through reading his articles and hearing interviews with him. I'm really into food and agriculture issues also. Something I regret from my first 3 years at MSU is not getting involved in the local agricultural community there. I've taken some ag classes, about both local and international ag. Anyway I always get geeked out when I meet other food/ag/social/environmental justice people!