I’ve had my issues with Michael Pollan in the past. I read In Defense of Food years ago and I kept getting frustrated by what I considered to be oversimplified conclusions to some complex issues. This pretty much summarizes my ongoing internal debate about nutrition. Sometimes I feel that learning the hard science behind human biology and our systemic responses to food on the molecular level is absolutely crucial to healthy living. Other times I think to hell with it, and to just be as ‘natural’ as possible while staying active and educated about food labels. Pollan hits those triggers for me. He has a way of straightforwardly discussing these dense topics in a manageable way that makes it easier to digest (sorry, couldn’t resist) for the layman. Unfortunately I tend to overcomplicate, overanalyze, and overthink so I tend to resist anything that seems too easy. Go figure.
That said, the question of what’s ‘natural’ is raised quite often in food politics. As we all try to determine what works for us and how to navigate the clogged waters of healthy eating, there’s been a movement brewing beneath the surface. Or has there? I speak so much about nutrition and surround myself with many like-minded people so I can approach these subjects with a bit of a foundation. But how many people out there have an opinion about GMOs? How many people even know what a GMO is? As we get closer to the presidential election, the question of our national food policy regarding the government’s regulation of GMOs and industry standard for “natural” labeling on products becomes critical to our future health.
California’s Proposition 37 carries significant weight as a litmus test for American food politics. As Pollan puts it,
California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified (G.M) foods carry a label, has the potential to do just that-to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too…What is at stake this time around is not just the fate of genetically modified crops but the public’s confidence in the industrial food chain.
Indeed we are at a tipping point. I live in a city where the mayor has managed to get a law passed that will regulate the size of soft drinks sold to the public. There are all kinds of public health initiatives and propaganda that are pushing a healthy food agenda in our schools and homes. The obesity rate has reached record highs and over 30% of the US population is overweight. If that’s not enough impetus to stand up and take a side one way or another, I’m not sure what is.
I won’t go into the details of GMOs and what each of the Prop 37 points mean because I’d be here forever. One day I’ll come back to this, but for now I encourage you to dig a little deeper and do some research. Educate yourselves on these topics because I promise you they will be playing big roles in your day to day lives.
So I turn the mic over to all of you. What do you think about the current food movement in the US (or wherever you are!) and do you think there’s more that can/should be done? How do you feel about GMOs? What are your views on Prop 37- are you for or against? Do you think we should have government define ‘natural’ and legislate accordingly? Do you think our food movement is doing enough to shake up our current political paradigm? I’m interested in your thoughts and opinions. It’s an open forum and all voices are welcome. 🙂
For additional information about GMOs, please visit my friend Eva’s blog at Healthy Glow Nutrition for her take on GMOs and check out the links as well.
To read Michael Pollan’s entire interview with NYTimes Magazine, Vote for the Dinner Party: Is this the year that the food movement finally enters politics?
, please click here. Pollan also participated in a Reddit IAMA where he answered all sorts of questions related to this article and other food policy issues.
Read. Understand. Discuss. Happy Tuesday folks! 🙂