One journalist’s journey through the industrial and natural world of food... and my is there a difference. We don’t see it. Most of us are oblivious to it. We enter a store pick up a tray of packaged meat, fill the plastic bag with already picked tomatoes or cherries. We grab a carton of milk from the fridge and some eggs off the shelf. How many times do you think about where the food came from? What animal suffered? How much processing the food item has been through?
I really enjoyed Pollan's honesty in this book, and the fact that he actually went in and experienced life on a farm, he visited industrial food producers as well as organic ones. He attempted to gather his own food, hunt and grow vegetables. He made an effort to go natural and really organic which is something that is incredibly difficult to do in today’s industrialised world. He shares both his failures and successes and it’s interesting to read about how much effort it takes to actually create a meal that doesn’t involve produce from the supermarket but uses a combination of animal, vegetable and fungi. His stay on a farm that has been working hard to stay as natural as possible, and it’s possible. Animals and plants don’t need the hormones and antibiotics and chemicals that the industrial food chain has added. When everything is working in perfect synergy nature takes care of the finer details without the need for the unnatural: the biggest obstacle for this happening tends to be the government and bureaucracy.
This book, along with Food Inc, has really opened my eyes to the world of food and what is really organic. I can see where changes can be made. Ok, so there’s no way that I’m going to hunt my own food or stop eating meat, nor am I going to invest in a few hens so I can have fresh eggs that haven’t been infested with hormones and antibiotics. I’m not completely going to stop eating canned baked beans, or chocolate, or drinking coffee.
However, there are a few small changes that I can make. I’m going to try and shop at the local farmer’s market more often. Last Sunday’s purchase of tomatoes was proof that there are fresher and more natural sources of food. I will endeavour to start my own herb garden and find a local farmer (within 200km) where I could occasionally purchase fresher meat and eggs - maybe the farmer’s market will be the source?