One of the first writers that got me (as so many others, I presume) interested in food politics was Michael Pollan. His book “In Defense of Food” , along with “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “A Botany of Desire”, really flipped the switch in my mind on what kind of politics I wanted to specialize in.
Well, today it’s flashback day since I want to link you to one of the first articles he wrote on food, namely “Power Steer” in the New York Times Magazine. Published in 2002, it tells the story of how Mr. Pollan bought a calf (Nr. 534) and followed its path through the industrial livestock system up to its slaughter. It was one of the articles that really first put the question of what stands behind our food in the minds of many readers of the Magazine, and is a very well-written and powerful peek into concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). It also put the difference between grain-fed and grass-fed beef on the discussion table. Though by now 11 years old, not much has changed in the overall system to my knowledge (except for maybe even more increased efficiency gains).
Have you read Michael Pollan’s writing before? How did you like his article?
Bonus: I found this article actually through this interview that Mr. Pollan gave to Adam Platt, which is a good read as well – refreshing in its intimacy and reflective at the same time.