In the video above, Michael Pollan makes the connection between the energy crisis, health care reform, and climate change (although he presents them as separate issues, I would argue that energy and climate can be considered two symptoms of the same problem). What is the thread that ties these issues - some of the most significant challenges of our time - together? The answer is deceptively simple: Food.
Pollan, author of the award-winning book The Omnivore's Dilemma, has made quite a name for himself investigating the complexities, hypocrisy, and corruption of the corporate food system in the United States (Click here for David Kamp's brilliant synopsis of the book from the New York Times Book Review). As the way we produce food in this country becomes more industrialized, Pollan writes, the distance our meal travels from farm to dinner plate becomes longer and more convoluted. And when we lose sight of where our food comes from, we also lose sight of the value of what we use to fuel our bodies (leading to cultural, nutritional, and environmental problems).
In light of this basic explanation of Pollan's work, I pose the following questions: Is it possible to kill three birds with one stone? Is it possible to solve the energy crisis, alleviate the burden on our health care system, and mitigate the effects of climate change by reforming the way we produce, distribute, and consume food in this country?