Michael Pollan

My Michael Pollan Moment

I have a non-scientific anecdote for you: I was at a women's retreat this past weekend and was sitting, chatting, on a sofa with a 94-year-old gal who'd grown up in Ritzville, but who had left decades ago because she "didn't want to be a farmer's wife." I'll call her Pearl. Another woman passed by and handed Pearl what looked like a packing peanut, but which turned out to be a white-cheddar, Cheetoh-like puffed snack. "Try this, Pearl--they're yummy."

Obediently, Pearl took a bite. Obediently, she crunched and tasted. Then her face screwed up hideously.

"What is that?"

She glared at the Cheetoh-like puff like it had tried to poison her, so I ended up holding out my hand so I could throw it away for her.

When I returned, Pearl shuddered. "I eat healthy," she said apologetically.

It all put me in mind of Michael Pollan's admonition in In Defense of Food, not to eat anything our great-grandmothers wouldn't recognize. I guess that includes synthetically-flavored, machine-extruded corn puffs.

Darn. I find them kind of tasty, myself.

This post isn't actually a review of that book, which I gave two stars to on Goodreads, with no review to explain why I was so underwhelmed. (I much preferred The Omnivore's Dilemma and Cooked.) But his advice to eat more real food holds true, and my encounter with Pearl reminded me of how far food has come in the past century.

Another reason to visit our Market--it's chock-full of foods Pearl would recognize. Like the vegetables that went into my Greek salad:

and wild salmon--that is, Jeb's Wild Salmon:

caught in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Jeb's offers several varieties, either frozen or smoked. And their Saturday presence is a nice complement to Thursday's Two If by SeaFoods.

It's easier to eat real, of course, if you like to cook, but for the busier among us, or those cooks who want a night off, the Market also has so-yummy prepared foods. More than you could get through in one season, even if you tried one new thing each week, which is basically what we do, not counting the times we circle back to enjoy a favorite again.

Have you tried...

Biscuit-in-a-Box's Sister Wagen
Hard to read in my picture, but they offer sandwiches and soft pretzels and more!

So put down the Cheetoh-like substance and hit the Markets this week. Pearl will thank you, and so will your insides!