Winter is loosening it’s short-lived grip on Minnesota, and as such my reading list has switched from doom & gloom to food.
I’ve been on a Michael Pollan kick lately. I’m on the library wait list for “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and based on how fast my priority ranking changes, I should be able to read it next fall. Alas… In the meantime, I’ve been reading some of his earlier works. “Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education” is a collection of essays based around Pollan’s forays in gardening for the first time since childhood. “A Place of My Own” likewise covers his construction of a small writing studio from the viewpoint of an amateur. Both books are part philosophical explorations as much as narratives of his actions. Pollan is a great writer, and I can’t wait to get ahold of “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which has been highly praised here and elsewhere in the blogosphere.
Having read “Nourishing Tradtions” again recently, and done more research on modern food, I’ve been curious to learn more about what exactly goes into the foods we take for granted and eat everyday. “The Crazy Makers: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Brains and Harming Our Children” bills itself as the “Silent Spring” for food additives. I’ve only just gotten into this book, but the author, Carol Simontacchi, lays out a comprehensive argument about how over-processed foods and chemical additives are having a negative effect on both our overall health and the development of small children. The book covers the usual suspects, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, etc. It seems to agree with the information the Weston A. Price Foundation supports, and as such I have high hopes for the rest of the book. More on this in a later post.
As you may know, there is a lot of disagreement regarding aspartame. Some groups feel it is a safe replacement for sugar in food products, while others think that it is a dangerous neurotoxin that should be banned. Janet Starr Hull supports the latter viewpoint in her book “Sweet Poison: How the World’s Most Popular Artifical Sweetener is Killing Us – My Story.” Again, more on this in a later post.
Spring is coming, and I’ve also got my head buried in seed catalogs. More on that later as well.