Michael Pollan and the food movement

This week I’m visiting my grandmother, who is 100 years old. She was born in the deep South before women had the right to vote, and her environment has been shaped in equal measures by the women’s movement and the civil rights movement. For me, the word “movement” conjures up acts of civil disobedience – marches, sit-ins, the courage to take great personal risks to make a stand for what you believe will make the world a better place, along the lines of the current pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

However, the food movement underway in America is incomparably easy, and participation not only won’t put you in harm’s way, but on the contrary will help make you healthier.

I recently met with Michael Pollan, the journalist and author whose Omnivore’s Dilemma helped awaken American consciousness to the dark underbelly of industrialized food production. Over lunch* in Berkeley, CA (arguably, the epicenter of the US Food Movement, but that’s a story for another day), we talked about the food movement and getting people cooking (Michael’s most recent book is Cooked). One of the things I like best about Michael is how he translates big themes into accessible everyday actions.
mary and michael pollan
*yes, I experienced the attendant stress of what to order when lunching with Michael Pollan. I went for a salad Niçoise, which, to my relief, he then ordered as well. It was indeed real food, and mostly plants; however, the portion was large and I confess that I probably ate too much.

Here are a few of my personal favorite Michael Pollan quotes – and I’ve also annotated how gatheredtable helps you to achieve them:

Eat food and Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
All of our curated recipes feature only real food – things found in the meat, fish, dairy, and produce departments, plus some natural oils, vinegars, and spices.

Avoid food you see advertised on television
Because real food producers don’t typically advertise on television – this one is easy to achieve with gatheredtable.

Love your spices
Our curated recipes use lots of different spices to add richness and depth without adding calories.

Eat meals
Our mission is to empower and enable people to sit down around a table and share a real meal, an anecdote to current snack-all-the-time-eat-at-the-desk-on-the-go mores.

Don’t become a short order cook
We propose meals that are intended to be shared among a family or group of people, because it’s way too much work to cook dinner from scratch if everyone eats something different.

Make water your beverage of choice
We don’t add beverages to menus; we assume water is where it’s at.

Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
We recommend an array of simple, delicious homemade dessert recipes we’ve personally tested.

Witnessing the continued movements for human rights around the world, one could make the case that the American food movement is a “high class problem.” But we Americans are on the forefront of how the growth of capitalism shapes the lives of human beings, and we have a daily opportunity to vote with our wallets. So, cook when you can, and be choosy about where your ingredients come from. These small gestures not only improve your experience, but also collectively register as decisive acts in favor of the food movement.

We’ve tested and loved two of Michael Pollan’s own recipes and they’re in our gatheredtable library for your easy use:

Happy Cooking,

More on Michael Pollan:

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About Mary

Gatheredtable Founder.

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