The November 28 edition of Bill Moyers Journal features some provocative comments by Michael Pollan on eating fresh.
MICHAEL POLLAN: And that, there is a real crisis in the inner city with access to fresh produce. And we know, distance from a source of fresh produce is a predictor of health.
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean, crisis?
MICHAEL POLLAN: Crisis because, in West Oakland, a neighborhood sort of like this, or where I live. I live in Berkeley. West Oakland is an area that has about 26 convenience stores, liquor stores, that sell processed food, and not a single supermarket. No source of fresh produce. You might get some onions and potatoes in that convenience store, but that it is. Yet, it’s full of fast food outlets. So you have, a fresh food desert, in effect. And that is one of the reasons that people in the inner city have such higher rates of diabetes. There is a demand for fresh and healthier food that’s not being served.
As they get more specific, Moyers asks for some quick things to make a difference in our health.
BILL MOYERS: What else? Give me a list, quickly, of what we can do to make a difference in this reforming the food system.
MICHAEL POLLAN: Well, plant a garden. If you’ve got space, and if you don’t, look into a community garden where you might rent a little bit of space, like we saw in East New York.
Cook. Simply by starting to cook again, you declare your independence from the culture of fast food. As soon as you cook, you start thinking about ingredients. You start thinking about plants and animals, and not the microwave. And you will find that your diet, just by that one simple act, that is greatly improved. You will find that you are supporting local agriculture, because you’ll care about the quality of ingredients. And you know, whether you’re cooking or not is one of the best predictors for a healthy diet. It’s more important than the class predictor. People with more money generally have healthier diets, but affluent people who don’t cook are not as healthy in their eating as poor people who still cook.(emphasis mine) So, very, very important. If you don’t have pots and pans, get them.