Oprah: Food 101 with Michael Pollan

27 01 2010

Today’s (Wednesday 1/27/2010) ‘Oprah Winfrey Show‘ with Michael Pollan (author of ‘In Defense of Food’ & ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’) was by far the best show of hers I’ve ever seen (although I will admit that I haven’t seen many haha)!  I’m thrilled that millions of people will be seeing it – actually I’m happy that millions will be seeing it, but THRILLED that someone (most likely more than one) will begin to consciously think about what they’re eating/buying.

Here’s a clip from today’s show:

Here are some of the ‘Food Rules’ discussed on the show today:

#2 – Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Would your great-grandmother recognize portable yogurt tubes as food?

#7 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader cannot pronounce.

#13 – Only eat foods that will eventually rot.

Some of his quotes on the show today:

Do you want to pay for real food now or pay the doctor later… the less we spend on food, the more we spend on healthcare.

The low-fat diet craze made everyone fatter. When you cut out one thing, like fat, you end up eating more processed carbohydrates. This may have led to our obesity epidemic.

Cooking is the only way you can take back control of your diet from the corporations that control your food. Corporations tend to use too much salt and sugar. It may be convenient, but if you understand what it takes to make food that cheap, you will lose your appetite.

Here’s some of his other ‘Food Rules’:

1) Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. “When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can’t pronounce, ask yourself, “What are those things doing there?”

2) Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

3) Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.

4) Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot. “There are exceptions — honey — but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren’t food.”

I believe that you can watch today’s full ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ here:

Oprah: Before You Grocery Shop Again – Food 101 w/ Michael Pollan

Food, Inc.‘ will be on sale for only $9.99 until January 29, 2010 at Amazon.com


‘Food, Inc.’

4 01 2010

About the film:

In ‘Food, Inc.’, filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin, ‘Food, Inc.’ reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Film reviews:

“I’m not generally in the habit of praising movies for being good for you, but ‘Food, Inc.’ is more than just a terrific documentary — it’s an important movie, one that nourishes your knowledge of how the world works. Or, in this case, has started not to work. The director, Robert Kenner, features and builds on the muckraking testimony of Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) to create an essential, disturbing portrait of how the food we eat in America has become a deceptively prefab, even hazardous industrial product.

Kenner doesn’t rant. He connects the dots — from the huge, aggressively lobbied government subsidies for corn to the transformation of farms into factories of mass-produced, corn-fed cattle, which are then slaughtered and ground into ”hamburger meat filler,” which is cleansed with ammonia, all so that we can buy a double cheeseburger for 99 cents. ‘Food, Inc.’ shows how the use of high-fructose corn syrup in almost every supermarket product is part of the same system that masses chickens in concentration-camp coops, where they’re bred for their oversize, flavorless white meat (and you thought breast enhancement was just popular for humans). It all traces back to the assembly-line techniques pioneered by the fast-food industry, which were then adopted everywhere else. A big-picture vision of conglomerate duplicity and control, ‘Food, Inc.’ is hard to shake, because days after you’ve seen it, you may find yourself eating something — a cookie, a piece of poultry, cereal out of the box, a perfectly round waxen tomato — and you’ll realize that you have virtually no idea what it actually is.”  – Entertainment Weekly

“Documentary filmmaker Robert Kenner uses reports by ‘Fast Food Nation’ author Eric Schlosser and ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ author Michael Pollan as a springboard to exploring where the food we purchase at the grocery store really comes from, and what it means for the health of future generations. By exposing the comfortable relationships between business and government, Kenner gradually shines light on the dark underbelly of the American food industry. The USDA and FDA are supposed to protect the public, so why is it that both government regulatory agencies have been complicit in allowing corporations to put profit ahead of consumer health, the American farmer, worker safety, and even the environment? As chicken breasts get bigger and tomatoes are genetically engineered not to go bad, 73,000 Americans fall ill from powerful new strains of E. coli every year, obesity levels are skyrocketing, and adult diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Perhaps if the general public knew how corporations use exploited laws and subsidies to create powerful monopolies, the outrage would be enough to make us think more carefully about the food we put into our bodies.”  – Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

“‘Food, Inc.’ is a horror movie for the socially conscious, the nutritionally curious and the hungry. Robert Kenner’s documentary does for the supermarket what ‘Jaws’ did for the beach. The film marches straight into the dark side of cutthroat agri-business, corporatized meat and the greedy manipulation of both genetics and the law.”  – Dr. Joseph Mercola, Mercola.com