Kiko Denzer  @  ChelseaGreen

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We The People vs The Western Diet

Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 10:24 pm by Kiko Denzer

I just finished reading In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan. Part of my pleasure in reading it was remembering my grandmother, Evelyn Sayre Norton, and meals at her table — the eggs she fried in bacon grease, the lamb fat she savored, and the produce she brought back from local farmers for whom she saved and recycled her shopping bags — long before anyone would give you a nickel credit for such things. Eating this way, she lived into her 90s.

I also appreciated the methodical way in which Pollan justified choices I have made because, well, probably because I am happier eating with the memory of my grandmother — and her local farmer friends — than I am eating at the industrial cafeteria. And because it’s always been cheaper to make (and now grow) it myself.

In any case, the question that occurred to me after reading the book is this:

Is anyone considering (or better, organizing) a class action suit against the purveyors of the western diet (government/agribiz/commercial research)? It seemed to me that the book pretty well laid out the whole case. Did the tobacco suit have any better evidence than what Pollan just published? If current, “near epidemic levels” of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. are all linked so directly to the western diet (and nutritionism), would it really be such a wacky idea? Might it help re-frame the current ag debates?

If this question has already been addressed, I'd love to know (I don’t even try to keep up with all the news, most of which strikes me as even less healthy than trans-fats). In any case, I am keeping a hopeful and curious ear out on this one…

Thanks again to Michael Pollan for his good work.

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