Michael Pollan, author of the hugely acclaimed The Botany of Desire, has a new title out: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Is it too corny for me to say that it’s “just my taste?” Or that “I’m hungry” to read it? Or that I’m “salivating” for it? Yes, on all counts.
Back to the subject at hand: AlterNet has a great interview with Pollan about his book’s exploration of what is going on in a country that simultaneously supports trends in: 1) fad diets 2) organic and free-range food 3) the recurring vegetarian ethics debate 4) fast food love/hate 4) self-produced food (i.e., hunting and gardening) 5) industrial food processing plants. Among other things.
Almost overnight, in Pollan’s estimation, bakeries went out of business, dinner rolls in New York restaurants went the way of the pterodactyl, and pasta became regarded as a toxin.
“These foods were wonderful staples of human life for thousands of years,” Pollan told Truthdig, “and suddenly we’ve decided that they’re evil. Any culture that could change its diet on a dime like that is suffering from an eating disorder, as far as I can see.”