in which Michael Pollan smiled at a group of star struck girls who giggled without shame…

and yes, I was part of that giggling group of girls, what can I say?

Today in class Marion Nestle came and spoke about the political influences over the food system in america, how the interest of agriculture is very different then that of public health, how obesity is rising, how knowledge of nutrition has gone up, yet overall health has gone down, how food corporations are ruled by wall street and the drive for profit, how companies market to kids, and how vitamins do not make frosted flakes a health food. (and she signed my book!) Needless to say, I was not bored. She makes a good point regarding the fact that we know what steps are needed to ensure access to food, and proper food at that, all the technicalities exist. And we are not lacking calories as the worlds food production currently stands at 3,900 calories per person per day. But the social and political infrastructure is not in place, and that is going to be the next battle of the food movement against the corporations who are in increasing competition to sell food, make profit, and use these excess calories they are producing. How its to be done is of course the next big question.

I rounded up every ounce of courage I had to ask a question after her lecture. And I kindof stumped her. Ooops. It wasn’t on purpose I promise, but my question was perhaps out of the ordinary. I asked what the effect of all these food labeling laws and anti obesity campaigns will have on people that struggle with the opposite side of the spectrum, namely eating disorders and compulsive dieters, and what can be done to address the rapidly expanding diet industry. She agreed that the diet industry has been failing as well and they have “too much money promoting the wrong kind of knowledge.” She said that the battle to fight obesity will obviously have an effect on compulsive dieters but she does not think body image issues are entirely related to the marketing and promotion of certain foods or reduction of body weight. She admitted to not knowing enough and being confused by them, but she thinks there are more psychological issues related to eating disorders then social.

I beg to differ. Its ironic that even in her discussion of obesity, which she seemed so well versed in, she never acknowledged any of the body image issues or psychological implications of being overweight. I think part of the solution will not only come from eating “right” but changing the relationship that people have to food, and a big part of that comes from the mixed messages the public is getting. Because she even admitted, that a calorie is a calorie, but how is someone with an eating disorder (over or under eating) going to change their eating patterns if the focus remains on solutions [aka calories] alone? I am going to continue pondering this question and interesting dichotomy, and I will let everyone know when I publish my dissertation. HA!

On another note I saw Fleet Foxes this weekend and everything about the show was excellent. I went with a very good friend, so the company was grande, we had thai food which was quite delicious, we brought blankets to get cozy, there were lots of beautiful people to observe before the show started, and most importantly, FLEET FOXES sounded like…angels. A choir of good looking grown men angels with gorgeous voices, harmonies and instrumentals.

That was the best part of my weekend, because the rest of it was spent studying for my first exam, which I had today. Study group on sunday, study group last night, and lots of note reviewing in between. So of course I abandoned most of my other reading and now have to catch up on it, but my brain is so fried that I dont feel like doing anything. I may regret that tomorrow, but I will deal with that…tomorrow. I think I did alright, I felt pretty confident about what I wrote, but of course I do not know the standard of grading, nor do I know the specific points the GSI is searching for in the essays. And now I must wait patiently *twiddles thumbs* for my grade. sigh…

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