Real Food


Today we finished Michael Pollan‘s In Defense of Food.   The girls and I listened to it on unabridged book CD over the course of several afternoons of making dinner.  I had really enjoyed The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, but somehow missed this one until now.

Much of what he writes really melds with our family’s thoughts on what we eat, how we eat, and where our food comes from, and we found the book affirming and encouraging.

In honor of Pollan’s call to simply “eat food”, instead of “food-like substances”, here’s the food we made for tonight’s dinner while listening to the final chapters of the book:

sliced mangoes and oranges

roasted carrots, golden beets and potatoes tossed with toasted walnuts and bleu cheese (above)

Cabernet-braised beef with dried apricots

brown rice

mint tea

whole-wheat oatmeal-marionberry bars

Pollan quotes Wendell Berry throughout the book, greatly esteeming Berry’s writings on humanity’s relationship to food, agriculture and nature.  (By the way, thanks to Pollan – and even more so to Kortney at One Deep Drawer – I’ve got a whole stack of Berry’s writings on order from the library). Particularly moving for me was Pollan adoption of Berry’s words as a sort of grace at the beginning of the dinner meal: 

Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.

1 thought on “Real Food”

  1. Great post, lots to think about! I love the last quote, which brought to mind for me the verse:
    “Taste and see that the Lord is Good!”

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