What I’m Reading and Watching

Check this page for a list of books and videos for that have taught me something new about our food systems, and that you may find interesting as well.


Image Source: The New York Times

Image source: The New York Times

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
2008, by Micheal Pollan
If nothing else, check out the last section of the book which outlines Pollan’s food guidelines. He does not tell us what to eat or where to shop specifically, but rather provides what he believes are general rules to follow in order to consume and support “real” food. My favorite is to avoid foods that your grandmother (or great-grandmother, depending on your age) wouldn’t recognize as food. This advice, of course, comes with it’s grain of salt. Your grandmother didn’t necessarily eat and cook what my grandmother did. And there are many real foods nowadays that she may not have recognized years ago simply because she wasn’t exposed to such a luxurious array of exotic fruits and foreign spices as we are today. I think the goal of this advice is to limit our consumption of highly processed foods with those unnecessarily long lists of ingredients. For example, would your grandmother Suzy recognize that box of Fruit Loops as a breakfast food?

The Good Food Revolution
2012, by Will Allen



Image source: Wikimedia

Les glaneurs et la glaneuse
(The Gleaners and I)
2000, directed in French by Agnès Varda
This look into into the world of food (and other household) waste in France was inspired by the 1857 painting Gleaners by Millet. Watch it and you will take an unglamorous, artsy walk with the foragers of Parisian markets, gypsy families who know where and when they can find perfectly edible food “waste,” and a man who repurposes household junk. Click here for an outside review of this film. 

More than Honey
2013, directed by Markus Imhoof
This film isn’t as much about colony collapse disorder as global trade’s effect on bees and the start contrast between traditional work-WITH-the-bees bee-keeping and profit-driven, nature-manipulating industrialized honey production. This film depicts bees as cogs in a machine. Did you know that there are now humans pollinating apple trees by hand with purchased pollen in places where bees no longer exist?