martedì 27 maggio 2008

Food Schizophrenia

I have recently noticed on an issue of the Italian magazine “L’Espresso” that Michael Pollan is about to publish his latest book titled in Italian “Il Dilemma dell’Onnivoro (The omnivorous’ dilemma)”. Mr Pollan is a journalist who collaborates to the “New York Times” and he is professor in Scientific and Environmental Journalism at the Berkley University. In this book Pollan analytically examines the schizophrenia affecting millions of individuals all over the world who, coping with a physical and mental obesity, are looking for ideal food but totally unable to make conscious and informed food choices. The book moves from the principle: we get richer and richer, we eat worse and worse, we get sicker and sicker. Pollan’s major remarks are directed against the “supermarket culture” where, notwithstanding a huge spectrum of food choices, apparently very appealing and presented in an aseptic context, people find “objects” having labels full of technical terms and acronyms which finally declare the presence of chemicals even in the simplest product. Another critical aspect involves the problem of the origin of these products which, before arriving in a supermaket’s shelf, usually cover very long distances with heavy impacts in terms of environmental pollution. The Pollan’s answer to these problems is apparently simple and obvious: it is necessary a sensible paradigm shift opting for organic products, reducing meat consumption (which implies high CO2 emissions and a sensible use of cereals for animal breeding), buying products as less as possible in the supermarkets and preferring the farmer markets. All this detains remarkable implications not only for the reconstruction of a de-industrialized agriculture and for environment and its resources, but only for our health. The present diet models hence represent a real problem: renouncing to this foolish diet and eating traditional food (to be consumed in reduced doses) we will do something really positive and constructive to avoid obesity and diabetes.

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