Nutritionism for Dummies

Do you like being called stupid? I don't. So an ad campaign that depends on convincing me that eating healthy is too "confusing" and that I need it simplified is ... well, "not very effective" is probably a too-polite way to say it. … [Read more...]

Review: Food, Inc.

Documentary filmmakers have lots of options in how to approach a subject. You can turn yourself into an example of the subject and capture your own reaction, like Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me. You can interview lots of different people and show the story in their words, like Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis in King Corn. You can ask the "bad guys" on camera to explain themselves, like Michael Moore in ... oh heck, you've heard of Michael Moore, you know what he's done. In Food, Inc., … [Read more...]

Fresh: The Movie

Last week I saw a screening of a Fresh, new documentary by Ana Sofia Joanes. If you follow Michael Pollan the way I do, you already know most of the issues covered, but it's nice to hear about it from the people actually involved. The subject is the way food is produced in the U.S., from "conventional" agriculture -- meaning large-scale industrial monoculture operations -- to more traditional mixed-use farming, to urban gardens in greenhouses on what used to be vacant lots. … [Read more...]

Why You Can’t Cook Like Your Grandmother

I don't write much about the politics of food, but this issue really shows why it's so hard for people to cook the way their grandparents did. In the past century, world agriculture has lost 75% of its genetic diversity to globalization, standardization and monoculture farming; 95% of the tomato varieties that existed in 1909 have become extinct; 91% of corn -- gone. In addition, 95% of the cabbage varieties your great-great grandma grew have been consigned to oblivion. … [Read more...]

Help remove fake food from the food supply

When Chinese companies were caught putting melamine into dog food people were outraged. No matter what the protein tests may have said (that's why melamine was added, it made the protein content look higher) it isn't food. Seems pretty straightforward. But most people eating the "Western diet" -- heavy on processed foods and factory-farmed meat -- consume many pounds of non-food every year. And it's currently completely legal. … [Read more...]