Saturday, May 17, 2008

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto – A Lecture by Michael Pollan

This lecture by author, and Berkeley professor, Michael Pollan, is the longest video I've ever posted on Foodwishes. I was scanning the usual sites for some funny weekend filler content, and I came across this. The best book, by far, I read last year was called The Omnivore's Dilemma. It was a fascinating, scary, provocative, disturbing read, and for the first time I really started to think about all the "factory food" we consume.

This lecture filmed at Google, focuses mostly on Michael's new book, In Defense of Food. I highly recommend that if you're interested in what he is talking about, you buy these books and read about where our food comes from, and how it gets to us. I like to think I'm doing some good in the world, showing people how easy it is to cook fresh food at home, but that's only part of it. What they're buying and cooking is just as important. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Great lecture! I can't believe I just spent an hour watching. Such imprtant info. I hope these trends continue. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this was a really good video, and interesting also. I will have to search out his books. Thanks Chef John!

Anonymous said...

thanks, I need a job at Google!

ghanima said...

Chef John, you have officially inspired me (via this post) to start subscribing to a local, organic produce delivery system. Kudos!

Chef John said...


Blood Red Roses said...

I can't believe I sat through the hour lecture, but I was enthralled. I thought I had heard every aspect of the "health food" thing, but I guess not! I was inspired to find my local farmer's market, especially after tasting the most disturbingly unreal and sterile tasting yellow bell pepper ever last night. I thought as long as you were cooking from scratch, it would be more delicious and nutritious than packaged foods. I guess not.

Will look into this books as well.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff.
And I would add to this guy’s lecture, that if you have to choose between local and organic, choose local. I maintain that the biggest sucker on the face of the planet right now is the organic consumer, mainly because a lot of organic produce comes from faaaaar away. Organic produce from somewhere in South America doesn’t mean as much to me. I don’t always trust other countries' definitions of “organic” as well as their diligence to stay to the code enforcing organic farming (I work with many Central and South American immigrants who agree that their governments are “looser” than ours in enforcement of these things). Imported organic also means lots of energy to get it to me from 4,000 miles away. Again, local seems the better route if I had to choose between them. Local organic is a home run though! (Massachusetts year-round farming is rough though, but I digress...)

About 5 years ago I got hooked on farmer's markets.
The big con : price. Can be very expensive, and now that I support a family not always realistic. But when I can afford it, I get it.

Taste : I disagree with this author. Apart from a garden tomato vs. a major chain’s tasteless tomato, I just really can’t tell the difference between say, an organic celery stick vs. conventional. Especially in a recipe. Kudos to those who can.

I shop local and/or organic mainly because it’s responsible to the land, community, and theoretically healthier.

p.s. - Do they still make sturdy soapboxes? Funny if they did.

Scott - Boston

Anonymous said...

great job you have seriously done something different keep it up

Teresa O'Donnell said...

Thanks for linking to that. That was the most helpful hour I have ever spent.