You see, Michael Pollan used to have these rules for discerning Real Food from edible foodlike substances, which he shared in the last section of his book In Defense of Food. They included things like avoiding anything containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and only buying foods with 5 ingredients or less.
Then Coke started marketing it’s sugar sweetened soda as a “healthier” alternative to HFCS, and Haagen Dazs came out with a five ingredient ice cream. So, Michael Pollan decided to unleash a new rule on the world:
Never buy any food you’ve seen advertised. Why? 94% of the money spent on marketing food is spent advertising processed foods. If you’ve seen it advertised, chances are it’s processed.
I don’t know about you, but for the average American eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) I kinda like this rule.
Its one downfall, of course, is that it doesn’t really help consumers be more informed or discerning. What about those 6% of food advertising budgets going towards advertising Real Food?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed those sponsors yet, but they’re some pretty amazing companies. Everyone one of them is run by genuine, sweet people. And they all have products or services that I believe in and want to see supported — whether it’s grass-fed beef, olive oil, coconut oil, probiotics, gluten-free baked goods, you name it.
But that’s not all Michael Pollan talked about.
In fact, the headline is a little narrow. Pollan discussed the relationship of our health care & energy crisis to our failing food system in depth. He even got some digs in on Monsanto and our school lunch program. Specifically, that GM crops don’t lead to increased yields. He even dared to say that our school lunch program was created to use up the waste products of industrialized agriculture.
It was a spicy interview, well worth watching. Which is why I’m sharing it here.
Here’s part one:
And here’s part two: