Michael Pollan came to Seattle this week and I couldn't miss it. I have read and own all of his books on food and have never quite forgiven myself for not making it to see him live the last time he was in the area. However, I was a bit reserved about spending my Saturday night at a very school-like lecture, with an ambiguous topic. Seeing as how Pollan wasn't promoting a new book, we weren't really sure what the topic would be. While I am still very glad I went, the material was, as suspected, a summary of Pollan's previous work related to food. He graced the stage with a bag full of grocery store items, which he referred to as "immortal food like substances" and an apple. These items were the basis of the lecture where he discussed in some depth his basic philosophy on food: Eat Food. Not to Much. Mostly Plants.
This lecture also gave me a chance to really think about and discuss why I enjoy Micheal Pollan's books so much. I think that he combines research from many different fields and combines it with cultural history in a coherent and easy to read way. While he explains his theory I can recognize where a lot of the information comes from. Marion Nestle's research on the food industry and food advertising, Adam Drewnowski's studies on nutrition and food affordability as well as Gary Paul Nabhan's work on native and cultural foods, make appearances in Pollan's theory. They all have phenomenal books themselves, but Pollan intertwines all of their arguments to come to many well-rounded conclusions using extensive amounts of information . So if you are looking for a crash course in the problems with our food system today, pick up The Omnivores Dilemma or In Defense of Food tomorrow.