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Be Pollan

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on May 17, 2006 1:35PM

pollan.jpgOne of the great things about living in the city is, we never have to go too far for a good cheeseburger. We’re not discounting un-urban environments though; we once lived in the highest town in the continental United States, and found one of the best cheeseburgers ever.

But let’s face it; we’re living in denial while Mad Cow ravages our still healthy bodies.

Michael Pollan, author of “Omnivore’s Dilemma” says that “Many people today seem perfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world: this book is probably not for them; there are things in it that will ruin their appetite”.

Uh oh.

Pollan’s book follows his quest to make four meals, literally, from start to finish. He starts with the Industrial (fast food and processed food). He moves on to Pastoral (organic or local food), and finally to Personal, food he “hunted, gathered and grew” himself. Pollan meticulously researches each meal from the corn in the Chicken McNuggets, to the moment when he has to kill a chicken for his home-grown meal, "It seemed to me not too much to ask of a meat eater... that at least once in his life he take some direct responsibility for the killing on which his meat-eating depends."

He debunks a few myths, and not just for the meat-eaters; one being that organic doesn’t mean local, and even though there’s no pesticides, it might have taken massive amounts of fuel just to get it to your local Whole Foods.

We just started Pollan’s book, but already we’re embarrassed by our own hypocrisy and ignorance. Still though, one more cheeseburger wouldn’t hurt anyone right? Right? Sigh.

You can see Michael Pollan on Thu., 5/18, 5:30-7:30 PM, Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr., 773-755-5100 or 847-424-2486.