Author Michael Pollan on portion control, the future of food and fast food
Who's the biggest hypocrite, the biggest fraud, so to speak? I can't think of one. There's a lot of greenwashing around food, but no one really takes the cake.
If you invited me to your house for dinner, what would you cook for me? Well, first I'd ask if you're a vegetarian or vegan. Then I'd go to the farmers' market -- and ours is open fifty weeks a year; sorry, Denver - and see what looked good.
If you had an unlimited budget, what kind of restaurant would you open? One that serves the best food based on the freshest local ingredients, and allowed patrons to pay whatever they could afford or felt it was worth.
Looking forward, where do you see our food culture going? I'm optimistic. American food has gotten so much better in the last thirty years, and there are signs -- alongside the fast-food signs! -- that we're slowly building a culture of food.
* My favorite book from Michael Pollan, Food Rules, an Eater's Manual, highlights 83 slivers of food wisdom, many of which are incredibly simple to implement into your daily food habits. Here are the ten that I personally find the most helpful:
1. Leave something on your plate. "Practice not cleaning your plate; it will help you eat less in the short term and develop self-control in the long," writes Pollan.
2. Do all your eating at a table. (Your desk doesn't count!)
3. It's not food it it arrived through the window of a car. Westword trivia: Editor Patty Calhoun has never -- not once -- graced a drive-thru.
4. Avoid food products with the word "lite" or the terms "low-fat" or "nonfat" in their names. Truth: Eliminating the fat from food products doesn't necessarily make them non-fattening, warns Pollan, adding that more often than not, yogurt, for example, contain more sugar per ounce than soda.
5. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay away from the middle. Why? Because that's where the majority of processed foods reside. Pollan notes, though, that even things like flavored yogurts are sullied with high-fructose corn syrup, so read the labels.
6. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well. In other words, steer clear of feedlots and industrialized factory farms that produce inferior animal proteins.
7. Make water your beverage of choice. So easy, so true. And tap water is just fine and much kinder to the environment that bottled water. Plus, it's free.
8. Love your spices. And your herbs, too.
9. Have a glass of wine with dinner. Yes, yes, yes!
10. Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don't. Grow your own food whenever you can, and revel in the fact that you nurtured it -- not someone else.