Last Night, Michael Pollan Had Dinner at Nopa
For self proclaimed activists or at least participants in the local food movement, this was very cool. Xandre was giddy. I was too, actually. It was a weird feeling to be in awe of someone in the same way you’d be in awe of a favorite athlete or musician, only to realize the subject is a soft spoken (though outspoken) academic in their mid fifties. But that’s Michael Pollan. No one else has managed to capture so succintly and in such a compelling manner the importance of local agriculture, thoughtful criticism of agribusiness, and practical nutrition to advance the health of human and food system. He’s taught us about where our food comes from (Omnivores Dilemma) and how to use our diet to affect political change (In Defense of Food).
I assume that he never expected his role to shift from author/academic to activist, but like Alice Waters, when smart, influential people take on complex social issues, they are anointed as leaders. And, again, like Alice Waters, he has taken on this role with a great deal of responsibility and care, fully leveraging it to affect positive change, organize leaders and spread awareness.
He ate rotisserie herbed chicken with eggplant caponata and potatoes, and he seemed really into it. In retrospect, he lives in the Bay Area, so it wasn’t totally unfeasible to imagine him having dinner here, but the inordinate level of joy we got from his presence was surprising. As we continue to collectively push ourselves and look for new ways to play a role in sharing his message, it was a gratifying and exciting sign that we are on the right path.
Posted September 30, 2011 • Filed under Food
Photo Credit: Sydney Morning Herald
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