Michael Pollan at UBC Farm

I had a chance to take in the UBC Farm Fundraiser with Michael Pollan last weekend, a well attended event for all ages.

Not yet having read In Defense of Food — my newly autographed copy is now on the top of my stack of 20+ must-reads — it was interesting and novel to hear his abbreviated version of how we’ve come to be in this place where we need, as he put it, an investigative journalist to tell us what and how to eat.

It IS more than a little odd that in a few short decades we as a society have moved so far away from the land and any sense of the source of our food.

During his humorous and sometimes tongue in cheek presentation, I was gratified to hear Pollan talk about many of the things that I’ve come to believe about the value of choosing more local food options — even without me having read his book:

  1. Eating food, real food not “food-like edible products,” has a huge impact on our overall health.
  2. Farmers markets build community. Research shows people have 10x more conversations at a farmers market than in a grocery store. I have experienced this on a regular basis.
  3. Many worldwide issues are addressed in shifting to a local food focus, including reducing greenhouse gasses and carbon footprint, reducing health issues, creating sustainable farming…
  4. And my favourite, no one idea will be the solution to our ills, we need to use multiple approaches: urban farming, organic, sustainable farming practices, innovation, etc.

I don’t believe in having a narrow approach or that the same approach will be right for everyone (i.e. I am not, and do not believe I ever could be, vegan). It’s not about finding THE answer, it’s about finding AN answer. And another one, and another one.

Now I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into In Defense of Food