Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Michael Pollan and First Blogger Meet Up

Did you catch Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Food Rules, on Oprah earlier today (Wednesday)? I did, and I really enjoyed hearing him speak, especially because I knew I would hear him again, in person, later in the evening! And I was even more excited because I was going to meet two bloggers, Michelle (who used to blog but isn’t currently, but we may have convinced her to start again!), and Lara from Thinspired! It was great to meet both of them! Thank you Michelle for bringing us together and for alerting us to this great, free event! Also, thank you for the super cute bag and towel!



Michael Pollan (on the right) was interviewed by San Jose Mercury News Columnist Mike Cassidy.



I really enjoyed the Q & A. I find Michael Pollan’s approach to food and what’s wrong with the food industry and what should and can be done to change the status quo commonsensical and realistic. Eating whole, unprocessed, real foods is what I try to do in my own life (although there is certainly room for improvement).

I also like that he stresses that people should invest more time into preparing food and into learning how to cook. While he acknowledges that fast food and highly processed foods are very cheap, partly because they are heavily subsidized, he also points out that people should get back to cooking and that it’s really not that expensive to cook a big pot of vegetable soup and that beans, for example, are a great, cheap source of protein.

He advocates eating less meat and states that reducing ones meat consumption makes the biggest difference in reducing one’s carbon footprint. He points out that the average American eats over 200 pounds of meat per year, which accounts for 1/4 of his/her carbon footprint. If the average American reduces his/her meat consumption by only 20%, the impact is the same as switching from a gas guzzler to a Prius!

I also loved that he finished on a positive note and said that he was optimistic that change is possible. While he doesn’t think that fast food and processed foods will go away, he believes that there will be more, better options for people to choose from and that more people becoming aware of what’s wrong is a step in the right direction.

After the talk, we got our books signed!



We then headed to Whole Foods to chat some more. We stayed until they closed at 10:00!

It was a great evening, and it was so nice to get out, meet two great fellow bloggers in the area, and hear a great, free talk! It’s just what I needed…

Questions: Did you see Michael Pollan on Oprah? If so, what did you think? Have you read any of Michael Pollan’s books? If so, what is one thing that really stuck out for you? Finally, any fun blogger meet ups to report on?
 
Be well,
Andrea

29 comments:

  1. I haven't seen the show but I read one of his books... it's interesting.
    blogger meetup? so fun! I want to do it more often! :)

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  2. Looks like a great time! I'll have to try and find that online to watch!

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  3. I haven't really heard anything he has had to say. As long as things are doable then I agree, but big lofty ideas that don't work with hundreds of people struggling just to find food and work, then that drives me crazy since we have to start at the bottom and work our way up...the ripple effect so to speak. The problem is that there are people who still do not now the basics of healthy and we need to start at square one so they understand why they are doing what they are doing and cooking. Being a vegetarian has a major impact on the environment, not just carbon emmissions, but the amount of land to raise cows produces less food than the same amount of land to produce well produce (fruits and veggies). This is why so many developing (or poorer) countries have mostly vegetarian diets...they can better feed their people this way.

    The other thing is people who want all organic and things like that will buy these products from stores where the food still had a major journey to get there, so I personally think for the environment going local is better, less transport. Some people do not realize that some of those healthy products still have a major impact on the environment. That is why you are so lucky and awesome that you have your CSA and get those deliveries. Way to go with the local goods. I have learned a lot about local living on a small island.

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  4. Darn, I missed him on Oprah!

    Sounds like a fun time!

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  5. I've never had a blogger meet-up :( So sad.
    I didn't get to see Michael Pollen on Oprah yesterday (I can't stand Oprah) but if I would have known he was going to be on, I would have! I actually found out at the last minute and ended up just seeing the Kind diet at the end (which annoyed me). I want to read Michael Pollen's book. From what you said, it's something I am interested in reading more. Glad you had a great time!

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  6. I found out he was going to be on Oprah once I was already at work (too late to DVR)! His book is on my list of books to read. Looks like a fun blogger meet up!

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  7. I've read In Defense of Food and while I agree with his approach, I found the book difficult to get through. I'm sorry to have missed him on Oprah, though. I bet hearing him speak would've been very benefical!

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  8. Hey Andrea!

    Did you notice I put a link on my blog, to one of your posts? I seriously looked at Nick's picture and it reminded me so much of your son! So I had to share a link to one of my favorite posts by you :) The one with your son playing in the rain!

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  9. I've been following him for years and was so happy to see him on Oprah. I think my favorite "trick" is his challenge to not eat anything your great grandmother would not recognize as a food. So simple. And growing up on a farm certainly made it easier for me to understand that viewpoint.

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  10. I heard he was on Oprah but I was at the office while it was all going on...missed it.

    I saw your pic and and took a leap! Sounds like you had a wonderful time~

    you know I just had my first blogger meet up and it was so incredibly fun to make a new friend!

    what a cool event! good for you and it's nice to finally SEE you! xoxo

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  11. Very cool you went to the interview/book signing!

    I did see Oprah, yes. I blogged a little bit about it, but mostly just referenced my Ethical Eating but that is a normal part of my blog.

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  12. I just ordered one of his books to read a couple of days ago so I'm really excited to get into reading it. It was nice to hear your thoughts about the Q&A. I think I'm really going to enjoy his book. Can't wait!

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  13. JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DVR'd yesterday's oprah, and I'm gonna watch it after work today. I really like his approach to food, as well. Still jealous you got to see him in person :)

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  14. How exciting! I've read his books and find his research and finding very interesting. Wonderful that you got to listen to him live!

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  15. YAY YAY YAY!

    that is so awesome you got to meet up with lara and michelle...for a MICHAEL POLLAN event...followed by whole foods. i think that is a bloggy dream date meet-up for sure! i am so glad you enjoyed him! i think he really has it so together and just has such a good grasp on the industry.

    and i am so jealous of your signed book :)

    one day, we WILL meet up! love ya!

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  16. What a fun evening! How lucky are you to meet Lara and got to hear Michael Pollan! I didn't see his interview, but did read several synopsis' of it. He sounds spot on!!

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  17. I had so much fun meeting you last night, Andrea! You summarized his interview so well, and you didn't even take any notes! ;) Thanks for letting me borrow your pen + paper, too ;)

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  18. I didn't see Michael Pollan on Oprah, i'm not a big TV person, but had I of known he was on I would have definitely tuned in! I love him!! Great pic of you, Lara, & Michelle! :)

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  19. I didn't catch him on Oprah. I went to a seminar that discussed the same issues, including cutting back on meat consumption. Ever since then, I have been trying to cut back. It's crazy how much it affects the environment.
    Great info, thanks!

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  20. OMG I would have LOVED TO BE THERE!!!!!! To meet up with you, Lara, the other gal, and of course hear Michael and the book signing. Wow, that is soooo coool!!!!!!! Congrats on your awesome day!!!

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  21. I've met one blogger (who was a dietitian) and one reader (who is a nutrition student) -- both were so fun! Looks like you guys had a blast! : )

    As for Pollan -- love'em! Didn't get to see him on Oprah, unfortunately. We need to work on less meat. We eat meat probably 5 times a week -- I'd love to get it down to 3!

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  22. i did see him on oprah - i thought he was pretty accessible, which is important!

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  23. so exciting!!! I missed the interview on Oprah (so sad about it!), but I've In Defense of Food and loved it.

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  24. I'm so jealous! I love Michael Pollan. I'll have to see if I can find the Oprah interview with him on the internets.

    As for trends, I think he's right to be optimistic. Yes, there is still much more cruddy food than good food out there, and the Farm Bill is a complete nightmare, but in general I think a lot more people are becoming aware of the mechanics of the food industry and are more concerned about eating whole and eating more local. Plus, if the success of the Food Network and the proliferation of food blogs are any indication, more people are getting comfortable in their kitchen as well. Small steps, but I think the trend is toward change.

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  25. oh wow.. you got your book signed by Michael Pollan how cool. I didn't see him on Opera.. I haven't watched any tv this week..

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  26. So incredibly cool! I would love to hear him talk- going to see if the interview is online since it wasn't shown in the UK. Funny coincidence- the NY Times follow celebrities for a few days and have them keep a food diary and yesterday I read Michael Pollan's. Love his outlook and how balanced he is- I loved that he has his principles but he also has priorities and isn't a purist. Seems like a great down-t-earth guy! (if you google "NY Diet Michael Pollan" it should come up in a search!)

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  27. Wow Lara is right! What a great recap and you didn't even take notes! It was great meeting both of you too! You are so nice (and beautifully tall and stylish on top of that ;-)

    I know we will see each other again soon (and we have to get our little ones together for a playdate!). Until soon!

    PS - Oh yeaaaaa! Now I see the pink but it's my fave color too so I totally get it! :-)

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  28. What a great time! I love the idea of people getting back to cooking and preparing their own food. It can be tough during busy times, but it really brings families/couples together AND keeps us healthy!

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