Thursday afternoon I tuned into Michael Pollan’s live interview answering viewers’ questions via Facebook. I love the concept but some questions got lost in the massive amounts of comments coming through – some useful, some not so useful. I kept trying to get him to answer one of my favorite questions – “If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” He never saw my question, though. Here are some of the highlights:
Pollan’s point that stuck with me most is his advice to “vote with your fork”. That means, when you eat at restaurants, ask for sustainable products. If enough people request sustainable products, restaurant will respond with change.
One participant asked a question about how to educate our children on issues in our food production and supply without frightening them. Pollan recommends talking about the issues with your children, but letting them make their own choices. If Pollan’s son wants to eat chicken nuggets, he eats chicken nuggets. He also suggests books like Fast Food Nation so children can education themselves and then make their own decisions. I love this approach.
The topic of raw food came up and I really appreciated Pollan’s answer. His immediate response was, “I like peaches raw,” and held up a peach. Pollan does not take a strong stance for or against any kind of strict eating, but is not sure we can or should survive on a solely raw food diet. He eats meat because he likes it – but limits it and chooses more sustainable options such as grass-fed beef.
Because of the impact nutrition labels have had on our eat, Pollan would like to see fossil fuel calories (the amount of energy it takes to produce food products) next to the regular calories on the label. This would show that while 1 regular beef calorie, it takes 55 fossil fuel calories to produce the beef, and for 1 calorie of chicken it only takes 20 fossil fuel calories to produce it. If this information were available, consumers might begin to choose the options with lower fossil fuel calories.
I so enjoyed listening to Michael Pollan speak and answer questions live. He is so knowledgeable, but so down to earth and realistic in his advice. I look forward to seeing more of him.