Michael Pollan doesn’t look at the whole problem in ‘In Defense of Food’

The first topic I’d like to focus on is an issue that I feel was undercovered, or in some cases absent, from our early class lectures and readings, especially Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food. This issue is the unavailability of healthy food, and diverse choices for poor individuals and families, particularly in America. Pollen makes some references to this but especially in the third part of his book focused on “solutions,” solutions which were not offered for people without the privilege to eat as he described. Pollan’s vision in the book, I believe, is too idealistic, and not realistic enough for the situations faced by many Americans. The problem of low income families being unable to afford to eat the way Pollan describes cannot be ignored in the discussion of improving eating practices. One in five American children live below the poverty line, more than two in five in low-income families, and when so much of our processed, calorie-heavy foods are the cheap groceries then solving the problem Pollan hopes to see solved is off limits to nearly half of the country’s future. I believe conversations about eating more responsibly must happen together with conversations to lifting the food standard for the most vulnerable among us. I feel this issue will only be exacerbated if only some—an increasingly few—people can afford to eat responsibly. I look forward to learn more about what can be done to bring equity to eaters as we hope to make smarter eaters in this country, and around the world. People have to know they can eat enough before they can think about eating right.

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