What you make for dinner can change your life. Hard to believe? Then listen to best-selling author and food-movement legend Michael Pollan at Rosse Hall at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, or join the discussion during Common Hour on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 11:10 a.m. in Peirce Hall.
Pollan says the average American spends more time watching other people cook on television than actually cooking. The reliance on big corporations for prepared foods has had disastrous effects on our health, our family life, and even agriculture.
In his latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Pollan apprenticed himself to chefs, barbecue pitmasters, bakers, brewers, picklers, and cheesemakers to learn their secrets, but more importantly to see if cooking really could be an important step in improving health, building a community, and fixing a broken food system.
“I’m very much looking forward to speaking at Kenyon, for two reasons,” Pollan said. “My niece, Hallie Bahn ’14, is a student there, and because I think it's critical to speak to college students about the importance of their food choices and cooking. Poised between being children in families and adults starting their own, they are about to make lifelong decisions about their eating lives, decisions with profound ramifications for their health and the well-being of their future families.”
Jennifer Smith, lead instructor and director of introductory labs in the biology department, initiated the Pollan visit. “I found myself attracted to him as a writer,” Smith said. “In more recent years, I have taken a greater interest in the kinds of food I’m going to eat.”
Pollan’s food mantra “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – documented in the much-heralded Food Rules – appeals to Smith, who says she’s not a die-hard vegetarian but avoids red meat and tries to eat locally-grown foods as much as possible. “He’s speaking for me in many ways.”
The Pollan appearances are sponsored by Faculty Lectureships.