Michael Pollan defends food!

Bill Kurtis and Michael Pollan have a conversation about mostly plants.

Bill Kurtis and Michael Pollan have a conversation about mostly plants.

Bill Kurtis interviewed author Michael Pollan last night at Chicago Public Library to talk about American food policy, our eating habits, and his book, In Defense of Food.

If you’ve read Pollan’s books, the twenty minute talk drifted over well-worn territory and revealed no surprises. However, he did expand his rules for selecting food to include a ban on any food product that has advertising associated with it. Pollan’s logic is that advertising is an indicator that the food is over-processed and therefore not good for you. After all, says Pollan, “the broccoli industry doesn’t have a marketing campaign”. I tend to agree with his point.

Pollan only took a few questions from the crowd, so no one got the chance to lobby him to take on a role in the public sector. However, that didn’t stop Pollan from calling on the USDA to allow for small slaughterhouses to support local meat producers, end subsidies to agribusiness, and increase efforts to bring more independently produced food to local farmer’s markets. He also encouraged more food education to be brought into the public schools, including courses on raising crops, food preparation and intelligent consumption. Pollan has previously stated that he doesn’t want a job inside politics. It’s too bad — he sounds like exactly the sort of person this country needs to lead change.

Chicago Public Library promises to have a recording of his talk available online soon.

Michael Pollan graciously signed books for the capacity crowd.

Michael Pollan graciously signed books for the capacity crowd.

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