Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vote with your fork: the Michael Pollan interview

A short note from me before I send you on a field trip to NPR's "Living on Earth" where they interviewed Michael Pollan this week, author of In Defense of Food, on his views of health care reform. The main point he makes is that until we, as a country, eat better we will continue to see rising medical costs.

"Michael Pollan says if we want to cut health care costs and help save the planet it's time to stop subsidizing the industrial production of junk food."

Most scary is the skyrocketing rate of type II diabetes, which is entirely preventable.

"'ve got adolescents in this country that are on average getting 15 percent of their calories today from soda. Most of the experts that have looked at the question say that if you could reduce soda consumption – and not just soda, but all sweetened beverages: ice tea, Gatorade, all those products – you would help with that problem, and you would save an awful lot of money because every case of type-II diabetes costs on average about more than about $7,000 a year to treat, to maintain. And the mystery is why don't we talk more about this as we're debating our health care system?"

So vote with your fork, as Michael Pollan urges. Take back your diet. Eat less meat, less corn and soy (subsidized by our government therefore making junk food cheaper than vegetables).

Click on the icon below to read the whole interview, it's short and very worth it! Enjoy your trip!


  1. Not just the junk food, but the drugs, the smoking, the lack of exercise, the not even being allowed to walk to and from school because of how dangerous our country is anymore....

    Here's to a better tomorrow!

  2. We also have to deal with peoples attitudes. My father, grandmother, and uncle were all diabetics. I very carefully watch my diet, exercise and take care of myself to avoid the same fate. My two sisters, and their families, are all obese. When the subject of eating healthier comes up they reply that they know they should eat better but it's too much trouble, too hard to do, takes too much time to prepare the food, etc. These are not uneducated people but all they can do is make excuses at the expense of their health. And the real problem is they are typical of most Americans.
    I'm on my way to read the interview, thanks for the link.

  3. thanks for the heads-up on this... it's a good point...

  4. I am guilty by my own fault and I am paying the price with health problems. I hope that young people wake up now and see what the junk is doing before they face similar health issues.
    At the fall festival this weekend I couldn't help but notice that 50% or more of the young kids were overweight.

    I remember as a kid most people smoking. Then the campaign against smoking started in the 60s. It has taken years for society to change its attitude on cigarettes, but it is working. The same campaign against junk and unhealthy eating needs to be waged now. It does start with the fork. Excellent post.

  5. Topiary: you are right, it's more than junk food. I see so many friend's kids (and we're talking teenagers here) get driven to and from places that are less than a mile away! that's just nuts!

    SQ: those are similar complaints of my mother's boyfriend, who was just diagnosed with type II diabetes. he claims he doens't have the time in his day to have a heathful snack so he eats oreos. I'm working on setting him straight.

    Jon: thanks for your comment, I've been slowly working my way through your blog, it's great!

    Rae: It is sad when you look around and see kids these days. Even more sad when you see what their parents place on the belt of the checkout counter at the grocery store. I hope you are right that attitudes will change just like with smoking. I know you manage your heatlh issues as well as you can, keep voting with your fork!

    thanks for reading everyone, and be well! -kate

  6. I'm going to head off to read the interview, but I thought I'd put in a comment here first. I also come from a family of diabetics and overweight siblings. I watch my diet carefully and when I read Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, I changed quite a bit of my eating habits. Diabetes is manageable, if you watch your diet and keep your weight down. But aren't those two things extremely hard to do if you're not motivated? How are people motivated if not to be healthy and fit? It boggles my mind...

  7. It also is amazing how many so called "healthy" food products are loaded with sugar, fat, and salt.

  8. I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma and started to look at how pervasive corn is in our ‘natural’ bath and body products. My company makes castile soap and I have created a video called ” Are You Washing With Corn”- view

    We have too much corn in our diet but we also have a lot of corn in our soaps.

  9. DJAn: you are right, motivation is key. I don't have an answer that either.

    matthew: you are also right. i think everything has sugar in it these days!

    rnmr: i will check that out! i'm careful of the soap I use since they often contain many chemicals, never thought about corn though! thanks for the heads-up. -kate

  10. Health beverage should be part of our diet to enhance our health and eliminate harmful degenerative conditions that our body may incur.
    The Right Place. The Right Time


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