By Amy Goodman and Michael Pollan: How the Processed Food Industry Undermines Healthy Food Culture!
We spend the hour with Michael Pollan, one of the country's leading writers and thinkers on food and food policy. Pollan has written several best selling books about food, including The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto. In his latest book, Cooked: A Natural History History of Transformation, Pollan argues that taking back control of cooking, may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make our food system healthier and more sustainable. There is a deliberate effort to undermine food culture to sell us processed food, Polan says. The family meal is a challenge, if you are General Mills or Kellogg, or one of these companies, or McDonald's, because the family meal is usually one thing shared. Pollan also talks about the slow food movement. Slow food is about food that is good, clean and fair. They are concerned with social justice. They are concerned with how the food is grown, and how humane and chemical free it is. He adds, Slow food is about recovering that space around the family, and keeping the influence of the food manufacturers outside of the house. The family meal is very important. It is the nursery of democracy. Amy Goodman: We spend the hour today, with one of the country's leading writers and thinkers on food and food policy: Michael Pollan. He has written several best selling books about food, including The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He has just written a new book, called Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. In the book, Michael Pollan argues taking back control of cooking, may be the single most important step anyone can take, to help make our food system healthier and more sustainable. Michael Pollan is the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism. He joined me in New York, when his book was released just a week ago. I started by asking him about the journey he took in writing Cooked. Michael Pollan: It was probably the most fun I have ever had as a writer, and it is hard to describe it as work exactly. When I figured out what I wanted to do, which was kind of drive cooking back to its most elemental reality, I decided to apprentice myself to a series of masters, and I divided it into four essential transformations that, you know, kind of the common denominator of all cooking: Fire, cooking with fire, you know, the oldest, water, which is to say cooking in pots, which comes much later in history, and involves a whole different set of ways of transferring heat, air, for baking, and earth for fermentation. And so, in each case. I found someone or a couple someone who were really good at the mastery of that element, and I worked for them a number of shifts, a number of events, and or lessons, and just kind of acquired these skills that I had never had before.