Eating is a deeply personal thing, something that requires a humongous act of trust in the food you're eating..not to be full of poison, not to slowly kill you, or to revolt you..but to be tasty and nourishing. I guess we don't really think of it that way. We're all middle-class citizens in the richest country in the world. We take clean food for granted. We can eat pretty much anything we want..and we do. [I mean, who would have guessed that Jelly Belly sells Juicy Pear jelly beans in seperate bags? There is enough of a demand for gourmet jelly beans that a company can not only specialize in making them, but make different packaging for different people's purposes, and create recipes for them. That is incredible.]
I think it takes a great deal of courage to do what Michael Pollan did, and scrutinize the stuff he was eating instead of blindly shoving it down our throat like the rest of us do. He said that most of us either turn a blind eye, or can't take the strain and switch to a diet that is ethically [but not environmentally, economically or nutritionally] fulfilling...that assuages our guilt. I turn a blind eye to a lot of it. I need to have some kind of basic trust in the material that satisfies one of my most basic needs.
Michael Pollan is a stronger person than I am. He doesn't require that trust. But I wonder...now that HE's finished his book, will he ever trust his food again? Will he enjoy his food again? Is it even worth knowing so much about what's going into our bellies?
Maybe I seem like an ostrich sticking my head in the sand. But it seems to me that the biggest problem here isn't how we eat. It's how many babies we make. The more our population expands, the more desperate our food sources will become. Maybe our answer to the food question doesn't really involve food at all.
I guess we'll see.