I have finally finished Michael Pollan’s new book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I have goals for my own food choices–I’d prefer to buy local and organic food if possible, but I realize that I can’t always do that, especially living on Cape Cod. I’d love to know how my chicken eats and who kills her, and I *really* hope my pork chops once had a tail that corkscrewed as the pig rooted around in something piggish. I’ll avoid processed foods not only because they’re bad for me but also because producing and transporting them hurts the planet. I’ll shop at Whole Foods when I can and buy organic as I can afford it, but now I’ll probably always realize in the back of my mind that buying organic is only a tiny environmentally friendly step toward a much larger, much more sustainable goal.
I think I can see my own path toward eating more sustainably. It will be slow and expensive, but I can see it.
What I don’t understand is how I will avoid the inevitable whole food snobbery that might very well overtake me. Sure, my opinion is that Doritos (or whatever processed foods) are bad for everyone and everything–from the GMO corn in the preservatives to the petroleum used to grow the corn to the inputs required to transport the products themselves, processed foods are essentially a waste. But when I finally give these sorts of foods up (and I don’t just mean avoiding buying them, I mean really not having one single bite when a friend has a bag), will I become a true food snob? Will I look down on those who haven’t made the same food choices? And will I be able to keep my mouth shut when they sit back and relax with their unfair-trade coffee and a piece of Pepperidge Farms carrot cake, and comment on what a beautiful place the world is?
Food for thought. Thank you, Mr. Pollan.