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Michael Pollan Webcast

April 13, 2010

Spent some time Tuesday night watching Michael Pollan (my hero) speak at Goucher College in Baltimore (it was a live stream; hopefully they’ll post a video of the talk on their site soon, which I will link to). Here are a few random things that I learned about Michael Pollan:

  • Was a TV writer
  • Went to Bennington College in VT
  • Food writing career was inspired by a woodchuck who destroyed his first garden (he called the incident his “horticultural VietNam”): the woodchuck kept destroying his garden and, much like the Bill Murray character in Caddyshack, tried unsuccessfully to drive him out: he picked up some woodchuck roadkill and stuffed the carcass into the burrow to “teach the woodchuck a lesson”; another time he
    (unwisely) poured gasoline into the burrow, dropped a match in, and accidentally set himself on fire; finally he managed to exorcise the woodchuck by simply erecting a fence.  This series of events inspired him to write about the garden as a place, like your plate, where you can’t be just a spectator.
  • His son was a horrible eater and would only eat “white foods”: bread, rice, pasta, etc.  The kid was so particular that they used to bring their own boxes of Barilla pasta with them when they traveled (only kind he would eat), and had to make sure the hotel rooms had a kitchen or at least a hotplate.  But the kid would complain anyway because he didn’t like the taste of the water it was cooked in – it wasn’t the same water as home.  Egads.

I didn’t get to watch the Q&A session because LOST was on tv, and I had to get on Twitter to live-tweet with my LostBuddies, Sarah and Chris.

The lecture was interesting, and basically reiterated Pollan’s “Food Rules”.  I always enjoy listening to Michael Pollan – I think he has an amazingly soothing voice and he just makes so much SENSE.  Though I was a little annoyed by the attitude of the Gaucher College President, who at one point made a comment that suggested that only liberals were smart enough to understand ethical food choices.   Small-minded elitist liberal arts college jerk.

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