Friday 20 July 2012

Michael Pollan on How to Eat

Last week I attended a night of Ideas at the House with Michael Pollan - the venue Sydney's beautiful Opera House - the topic 'How to Eat'.

In preparation I read In Defence of Food, started The Botany of Desire and checked out his website.

Thanks to my research I didn't really learn anything new about Michael Pollan's views on food, but he is a very entertaining speaker and it was a pleasure to listen to him in person (we had great seats only 10 rows back from the stage!)

If I'd had a chance to read further through The Botany of Desire, I would have asked Michael how his wild apple seeds were fairing as his chapter on the history of the apple was incredibly fascinating. I found myself quoting it to my husband and friends whenever they gave me an opening.

I also made the mistake of taking In Defence of Food on holidays with me! My long-suffering husband was treated to several soap-box harangues about food, politics and the environment that decreased in coherence as the intake of pool-side cocktails increased! 

I am definitely a convert to the cause of eating well, ethically and responsibly. It's a no-brainer really. Pollan's research also clearly shows the health benefits for us and for the other animals and plants with which we share our planet.

The hard part will be convincing two teenage step children the advantages for them in eating more fruit and vegetables!!

And finally, a few random words from Pollan, from the other night...

"TV is designed to pin you to the couch - it is not motivational. We watch more sport and cooking shows than we play sport or cook!"

"We eat and shop thoughtlessly, unconsciously. By devoting more time - asking questions, growing our own food - paying more attention to our food and the process of preparing food - it's not a hardship; it's a pleasure."

"Quality not quantity."

Finally here's a link to the interview so you can see and hear for yourself.


  1. Michael Pollan is a genius. I LOVED his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma.
    I leant the book to a temporary acquaintance and then never saw it [or him] again. Which episode gave me the title of my own next book -- The Book Borrower's Dilemma.

    1. The Omnivore's Dilemma is on my list too!
      I understand your dilemna about lending books - I was just at an author event with friends. My friend asked the author to inscribe in her book something along the lines of..."dear friend, if S.... lends you this book, please remember to give it back to her when you've read it." I'll keep you posted on her success rate.

  2. I went to this night too! It was great. I've read some of his writings before, so it wasn't so much anything new I thought, but preaching to the converted a bit (which isn't a bad thing). My friend and I went for dessert after at Guillaime, and were seated at the table next to Michael and his group! No wonder he was loving the food in Australia.

    1. Lucky you Louise - the desserts are pretty amazing at Guillaime (the view's not bad either!)


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