Michael Pollan Talks Processed Food, Organics in MN

Food author and activist Michael Pollan, author of ‘In Defense of Food’ is visiting the Twin Cities this week to talk food. Local newspaper, The Star Tribune, had a chance to speak with Pollan yesterday regarding his food activism.

Here are a few of my favorite bits from the interview:

Q: With the recent contamination scares, people may be feeling a sense of security in processed foods, which are exactly what you argue against. How do you respond?

A: A lot of people think processed food is safer because it’s so sanitized, but that really means that everything’s been killed. It’s dead. There’s definitely a fear coming of food grown in the soil, which is really sad. A lot of the problem with produce comes in the processing.

People are relying on companies washing fresh lettuce and putting it in a bag with an 18-day shelf life instead of doing it themselves. The consumer should assume that whenever they outsource food preparation, there’s a certain amount of risk involved. Not that you’re always going to get it right yourself, but the scale of the problem is a lot smaller.

Q: With people looking to stretch their food dollars, is the message to eat organically and locally, which often means more expensively, losing steam?

A: I’ve heard contradictory things. I know Whole Foods is struggling, but I’ve also talked to people who make organic food, and they’re doing just fine. This spring, we’ll see what happens in the farmers markets.

You can read the rest of Pollan’s interview here!

Concerned about your food safety? Check out my tips for keeping yourself, and your family, safe from food contamination.

~Jennifer Heigl

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