In Defense of Food
Read this book. Please.
Yesterday was a travel day for me; lots of time on planes and in airport lounges to read In Defense of Food, Michael Pollen’s latest. It’s an excellent read; well-written, provocative, and satisfying on many levels.
If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’re already familiar with my philosophy of food and eating. No surprise, then, that I thrilled to read this sentence: “For most people for most of history, gathering and preparing food has been an occupation at the very heart of daily life.” (p. 145)
I sometimes feel guilty that my day revolves around food, thinking about it, finding it, preparing it. Michael Pollan absolves me of this guilt, and in fact, confirms that this is actually a healthy impulse. He encourages us to think more about the source of our food, to shorten our food chains, to cook for ourselves. Here’s another sentence that totally gets me: “To reclaim this much control over one’s food, to take it back from industry and science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time cooking from scratch and growing any of your own food qualify as subversive acts.” (p. 200). Yeah, baby!
I’m here in Santa Fe to give a gardening lecture and spend time working (without the distractions of everyday life) on my next book. This morning I sat down to work on a chapter, but found that first I had to write this entry. I think that’s an acceptable distraction, since it’s relatively brief and also related to the topic at hand. (My book is a food memoir.) I feel newly energized and inspired to approach my own writing about foraging for and growing edible plants. Thanks Michael Pollan.