Tomorrow I will be discussing an excerpt from Michael Pollan's book Food Rules with two sections of ENG 100 students. I'm considering teaching this book in its entirety in a future semester, since it is persuasive, relevant, well-researched, readable, and concise.
While the main thrust of the book is aimed at establishing guidelines for a healthier, simpler diet, I also hope to discuss the implications of our choices as food-consumers on the economy and the environment. I believe that what we choose to eat is not just a personal decision, but a social and ethical one.
Recently, I have been trying to eat less meat of uncertain origins. This means not ordering meat dishes at restaurants and only purchasing meat from local farmers. I am lucky, though, that sometimes I get to eat meat that was not purchased at all, but personally hunted by my future father-in-law (with a crossbow, though I like to imagine him sneaking up behind a deer with only a Bowie-knife), who regularly appears at our house as if some kind of superhero. He will drive his 25-year-old Mercedes diesel-powered station-wagon up from Maryland with a cooler full of deer steaks, and change leaky pipes in our basement while he's here. All we have to do is treat him to eggplant parmigiana and some Sam Adams Octoberfest.
Yuriko is particularly skilled at seasoning and marinating all sorts of things, and so last night we had a delicious pre-Presidential-debate feast of venison rib-steaks and cheesy-spaghetti squash (with a dash of hot sauce). Yum.
As for Pollan's rule about eating “mostly plants,” I am working on this. Most days I try to have some raw vegetables for lunch, and we always have some cooked vegetables with dinner. We've also been getting the majority of our produce from a local farm this year: CrawfordOrganics. Even more important to me than the potential health benefits of eating organic produce regularly, is knowing that we are supporting local family farmers who are practicing environmentally-conscious farming techniques.