Secret Pop

Apr 15, 2006

I'll admit, I make rash decisions.

Not as a rule. And not as they pertain to important matters affecting my loved ones and mankind in general. But I get all het up about things and am inspired easily. And all it takes is a little snippet of sensible-sounding rhetoric, and I get pitched into activism lickety split.

I heard Michael Pollan on NPR's Science Friday tonight, after doing some stand-up, and in the time it took me to drive home, I had already decided to try and never eat corn or its byproducts again. I'll never succeed. I won't even stick with it for very long. It's one of those battles that would require me to move to France. Which I would happily do if there weren't these ugly matters of citizenship and animal quarantine.

I've been doing a great deal of study in recent months about food and biology and epidemiology. My mother lauds my recent healthy eating. Almost enviously. Which makes no sense. She says so herself. She wants what I'm eating, but she would die without rice. It's a fact. But I don't know what's so great about eating healthfully. Just having to stop and read the labels on things is enough of a pain to make grocery shopping less of a joy. In comparison to the carefree manner in which I once restocked my pantry, it's like going off to pick wildflowers but having to stop and look each petal-laden stem up in a book of ancient runes before putting it in your basket. And I should add that once found in the book of ancient runes, the description will be dishearteningly bland. And if it isn't, you will have to put the flower back. If I can feel a mixture of excitement and relief when I read the label on a can of lentil soup and find that it was made without potatoes, I may as well go stick my head in a pig. Being careful of course not to get any of the pig in my mouth.

So, Michael Pollan was talking about his new book, and none of what he talked about is intended to inspire asceticism. It's more anthropological and agropolitical than recipe-oriented. But he is a right smart dude, and everything he says makes you want to hear more. I want to believe that sustainable agribusiness can be attained. And I want to believe I can help with that by buying all the organic food that I've been buying. Just like I wanted to believe that I could make The Corporation an internationally-adopted manifesto by hyperlinking it on my blog and my MySpace profile. It costs a fortune to be conscientious, unfortunately. I'm committed for now. But I have several slow- and non-paying clients, and that will put a strain on my ability to buy organic blueberries. Even when they're in season, berries are not cheap.

Buy one or all of these provocative and socially-conscious items, won't you?


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