Friday, April 23, 2010

On a serious note...

Maybe it's because it's Earth Day (week) so all of this is out there and I'm noticing it more. Maybe it's because I've been really trying to watch what we eat to avoid allergens for E, so I've been reading more and more about food, which led me to food blogs and food books etc etc etc. Or maybe I just watch too much Bonnie Hunt Show online (yes I do... ain't showin' here anymore) and Lordy, too much Oprah. Don't know. But I'm feelin' the weight of the world this week.

I've got some things on my mind, so I thought I'd share. I'm not even sharing to say, "hey, here's this thing I watched/read/listened to." It's not even that. I haven't read or watched any of these things yet. But they're percolating and I'm thinking about it. I think it's fair to admit that, right?

You know from my post about a program that we ran at school that things affect me more than the average bear. That's the reason for the hesitation. I try to give things serious thought before I absorb them and consider whether or not the benefit of information I'll gain will be greater than my discomfort. Sometimes, honestly, it isn't. But all of these things have been catching my attention lately.

From reading food blogs I hear a lot about food books. It's only natural. I already know I'm not going to read Skinny Bitch. I'm sure it's cool and funny and informative, but the reviews I read about scare tactics already scare me. I just don't think I can do it. I'm not going to be able to be a vegan, no matter how upset I get about animals. I'm just not. But I will get hopelessly upset. I know myself. But in reading Caitlin's Healthy Tipping Point, I also heard about Michael Pollan. I've since seen him on several talk shows and I'm really interested to read this, In Defense of Food:

I added it to my Amazon wishlist. Gonna upload it to the Kindle just as soon as I finish the puppy book I'm currently reading and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Neither of which are controversial, to my knowledge.)

I ended up finding this old (2007) New York Times article from Michael Pollan the other day and though it's lengthy, it's one of the most interesting reads I've had in a long time. I like how the information is presented in such an intelligent way. I like that there's no Michael Pollan diet. I like his first words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

So since I have food on the brain (always) I've also been paying minimal attention to Food, Inc. Actually, I've been trying to ignore Food, Inc for quite some time because I'm afraid of it. I'm afraid to know. But it's showing on PBS right now and after seeing the director, Robert Kenner, on (my fave) TBHS, I honestly think I might want/need/be interested to watch it. I have not decided. But it's on my radar now.

The food thing is a hot topic right now with Jamie Oliver's school lunch movement. I have mixed feelings about the school lunch thing--of course our kids should have better food--but next year my school's looking at not having a LIBRARY for the love of Pete, and we might be down to two counselors and one administrator from budget cuts. The idea of expensive, handmade food seems about as far out of our league as a transporter. Would it rock? Yes. Possible in this economy? Not sure.

It's heavy stuff. Even the clips are hard to watch. I'm not saying you should--heck, I haven't even decided if I can handle it yet--but if you want to see it, you can stream it live on PBS by clicking here. Or you can DVR it, as I did. Maybe I will make E watch it with me. I really don't know yet.

This last one I first came to hear about from Carrie Ann Inaba's tweets last year. It's a documentary called The Cove. Of course I tried not to think too hard about it either, since I knew it would get to me. Even when I saw these guys win the Oscar I wasn't sure if I could handle it. I think I want to watch the DVD, after seeing the filmmakers on Oprah today. Here's a PSA about it. But like all things, I'm not sure I can do it. Either way, this is a story that should be told.

I've embedded the PSA below.

PLEASE DON'T WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE BOTHERED BY THINGS THAT ARE VIOLENT. I'm not telling you that you need to watch this, but it affected me today. Please know that kids should NOT watch this, and that it is potentially disturbing.

Listen, I'm not a dolphin person, really. I mean, not more than any other animal. But I respect their intelligence and the connection that many people feel to them. This is just... hard. Good segment on Oprah today about it, if you want to check that out online to see what I'm talking about. It's kind of amazing how these filmmakers risked so much just to tape this.

So heavy stuff today. I apologize for being such a downer. This has all just weighed on me this week, and as usual this is a good place to work things out for myself.


  1. I haven't read In Defense of Food but I did read his Food Rules book. It was pretty good. Food Inc was good, it wasn't AS bad as I thought it would be in terms as making me afraid to eat meat. The biggest thing for me was switching to organic/free range meat.

  2. I don't think you're being a downer at all. It's important, whether me make changes in our lives or not, that we be educated and be aware of the things that are going on, especially in regards to what we are putting into our bodies - or for that matter what the Japanese are feeding their children.
    I saw Michael Pollan speek last night and what I liked is that he doesn't tell you you have to change everything right this minute, he suggests making small changes, nothing earth shattering.
    Great post!