“We Are Corn Chips on Legs”

May 28, 2009 at 7:59 am

Michael Pollan is a popular fellow. Popular enough that yours truly was herded into an overflow room to hear his discussion with journalist Bill Kurtis at the Harold Washington Library Center on May 18.

Two of Pollan’s books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, have become the premiere sources of literature on why Americans might want to shift their corn heavy, low fat low calorie low taste tendencies to consume “food-like substances,” as he describes in In Defense. “We are corn chips on legs,” he says, referring to the abundance of high fructose corn syrup in packaged foods, adding that a good rule of thumb to follow is to “avoid any foods you ever see advertised.”

Sourcing out food from more localized origins is well and good, but Pollan makes the point that not all produce, for instance, is always available. “We feel this entitlement to have foods all the time,” he says. Which reminds me, strawberries are currently coming into season…