Monday, January 7, 2008

Michael Pollan has a new book! or George McGovern did his best.

I was talking with Chris earlier in the week and she snuck in, ever-so-subtlety among other topics, that Michael Pollan has a new book, IN DEFENSE OF FOOD An Eater’s Manifesto. Aware of my reverence for Michael Pollan and sensitive to my Amazon-1-Click disorder (I think I should start a support group, AA, Amazon Anonymous), my book shelves overflowing with books as yet unread, she was reticent to mention it.

Michael Pollan is brilliant. I gave his last book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, to anyone that would stand still long enough to accept it. I was like the neighbor with the cat that keeps having kittens. Wouldn't you like to have this cute furry book?

His previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World is simply lovely. BookBrowse has reviews and of course, Wiki is always good - "This work explores the nature of domesticated plants from the dual perspective of humans and the plants themselves. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. The apple reflects the desire of sweetness, the tulip beauty, marijuana intoxication, and the potato control."

Michael Pollan's new book is, naturally, about food. Or, more aptly put, about our unnatural approach to food. While you're waiting for your copy to arrive, you can listen to Michael Pollan on NPR; sample/savor the first chapter in The New York Times or read the January 3 review. The following excerpt from the review, by the way, reminds me once again why I voted for George McGovern:

"Among the historical details that underscore a sense of food’s downhill slide: the way a Senate Select Committee led by George McGovern was pressured in 1977 to reword a dietary recommendation. Its warning to “reduce consumption of meat” turned into “choose meats, poultry and fish that will reduce saturated fat intake.”

When Mr. McGovern lost his seat three years later, Mr. Pollan says, the beef lobby “succeeded in rusticating the three-term senator, sending an unmistakable warning to anyone who would challenge the American diet, and in particular the big chunk of animal protein squatting in the middle of its plate.”"

I resisted 1-Click, resorting instead to Multi-Click - Realizing Julia was at work, her job, conveniently, at Border's, I texted her - Michael Pollan has a new book, I said. I know :) she replied. I'll get it.

1 comment:

Woody (Tokin' Lib'rul/Rogue Scholar & O'erall Helluvafella!) said...

Me? A major Michael Pollan fan. I LOVED "Botany..." and "Dilemma"! Thanks for the tip on the new book.