talking with my handsI had the pleasure of being able to speak to a group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Creekside Elementary School here in San Diego on Tuesday night. The topic of discussion was a recent article written by Michael Pollen for the New York Times, entitled “Why Bother.” His article discusses quite a few issues, but the main theme seemed to be about the importance of “doing something” to benefit our environment and ourselves (and more specifically, starting your own vegetable garden). Pollen includes some interesting facts about human specialization, personal responsibility for the environment and the bane of cheap energy.

So…the kids and I talked about a couple of simple (but important) things that Pollen pointed out in his article: Growing your own garden and going vegetarian one day a week (eating less meat). They were enthusiastic and really knew a lot about both topics. It was refreshing to see that many of them were already growing their own fruits and vegetables at home. The students understood that having a garden symbolized more than just growing food. They knew that it saves money, brings neighbors closer, produces less greenhouse gases, creates less waste, increases independence, it’s good excercise, and the list goes on.

participantsThis was the first time I’ve ever spoken to an audience (nevermind, young students) about these topics, but I felt it went very well. The kids were great participants in the conversation and I was shocked at how much they already knew about the environment and food. I left the school feeling encouraged that the next generation are more aware of their actions and will hopefully be good stewards to this planet.

Thank you Creekside Elementary for giving me the opportunity to speak with you.

He and his book have been profiled on wannaveg in the past.  Here is an interview that Mackenzie Carpenter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had with him.  I encourage everyone that is interested in their health or where their food comes from to read this book.  It will make you think about how your food got to you table…

Michael Pollan’s most recent book, "The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals," appeared on almost every top-ten-best-book list of 2006 and has been nominated for a National Book Award. Monday he’ll be in Pittsburgh, appearing at the Carnegie Music Hall for the Drue Heinz Lecture series.

In "The Omnivore’s Dilemma," Mr. Pollan takes us on a journey through our nation’s food supply to ask: What should we be eating at the dawn of the 21st Century? And how will the food we eat impact our survival as a species? To answer that question, he explores the origins of four meals: organic; fast food; sustainably grown from a small Virginia farm; and a hunter-scavenger repast with ingredients Mr. Pollan shot or foraged himself. It’s a compelling story of where food comes from, and why it matters.

Mr. Pollan is a Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California Berkeley. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

Last week, we spoke with Mr. Pollan from his home in Berkeley.

Q: What are you going to talk about at the Drue Heinz Lectures?

A: I’m going to be talking about the journey that culminated in the book, and what’s happened since. I’m going to talk about what I mean by the omnivore’s dilemma, that term, and just how Americans came to be so confused by what is really a very simple matter — one that most creatures have no trouble deciding — which is what they should eat. How did the food system become so complicated? How did we become so confused, and how we might begin to untie that knot of confusion?

And I want to take the listener on a journey through the different food chains I’ve been exploring.

Continue reading at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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