Last night I attended a lecture entitled “The Past, The Present, The Future of Food,” at UC Berkeley hosted by the Graduate School of Journalism.
Presenting at the lecture was Michael Pollan, journalist and author of the most recent The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In this book, Pollan critics Whole Foods and questions if they are walking their talk.
The other presenter at the lecture was Co-Founder and CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey. Mackey and Pollan have been in a year-long dialog regarding the book and its implications. Mackey responded to Pollan’s book in a letter on his blog: http://www.wholefoods.com/blogs/jm/archives/2006/05/an_open_letter.html
Mackey and Pollan decided to come together and talk about the issues that they think are concerning food and its future.
What I took from this lecture was: first and foremost- the choices we make can make a difference. This is Pollan’s overall message with his book. This was illustrated to me by the graphic video as shown by Mackey during his presentation. This entire presentation seemed like a Whole Foods commercial, save for the video showing the poor treatment of cattle, egg-laying chickens, and pigs. I realize that my choice- to be a vegetarian- is something that I choose to do in my world, to help the world around me. The horrific video can be viewed right here, along with the rest of John Mackey’s presentation: http://webcast.berkeley.edu/event_details.php?webcastid=19147
The portion where beaks are being clipped off chickens, and pigs tails, ears are being mutilated stuck me as horrific. I cannot believe there are limited regulations on these animals that so many are willing to eat.
I don’t want to be preachy in this blog, but I will say one thing: If you choose to eat the things that you do, please be informed on where they come from. Know that quality does cost more, but understand your choices and what they mean. Also, read The Ominvore’s Dilemma. That’s all!