Michael Pollan has written a number of bestsellers, including the brilliant The Botany of Desire, and he was No. 6 on Newsweek magazine’s list of New Thought Leaders. But you wanna bet his appearance on Oprah this week probably did more for his cause than anything he’s put in print?
OK, I”m exaggerating, but Pollan’s day-time talk show appearance delivered the news of the Evils of the Western Diet to a segment of America that lives far outside the liberal, Food Inc.-watching, Whole Foods-shopping, Prius-driving milieu (yes, I just used the word, “milieu,” and I won’t even apologize for it, because I’m a liberal, Food Inc.-watching, Whole Foods-shopping…).
Maybe I missed it, but it seems that Pollan has added a new twist to his standard edict — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” (as well as its more folksy variation: “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”). It’s this:
Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
The new sub-edict reminds me of those famous McDonald’s outtakes from Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me DVD. Pollan has his own version of Spurlock’s test; he tells Oprah that he has a two-year-old Twinkie in his possession that’s still as soft and spongy as the day he bought it. Which can only evoke one response in my book: that shit ain’t right.
“Food is alive and should die,” Pollan tells Oprah. Right on, MP.