Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coffee klatsch, discuss: food for thought tops the list

I, along with 450 other foodistas, (shout out to Seattle Tall Poppy!) packed a Kane Hall auditorium last night to hear Mark Bittman rant about the end of the world coming near should we not turn the tide on an overwrought environment savaged by industrial agriculture and McProcessed fast foods. He lead us in a chant, clap and stomp of "We will, we will... eat responsibly!" (It was just like being in the Seahawk endzone stands back when they were good.)

Okay, that last part was not true (except in my head). But, Bittman, like Michael Pollan (who was also recently in town) is indeed sounding a clarion call to wake up to the realization that what we eat, how much we eat, and the way it makes it way from industrial feedlot to fork is not good for the health of your body and the planet as well. Bittman is renowned for his cookbooks and NY Times food column and blogs but he's now taken a turn toward the manifesto with his "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes."

Was he preaching to the choir? How are we doing? Check out this list from the Seattle Public Library as published in the Seattle Times article "Library use jumps in Seattle area; economy likely reason."

What's the Northwest reading?

HERE'S A LIST of the six most frequently loaned books at Seattle Public Library in 2008. Numbers for King County were not immediately available:
1. "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press). Adult nonfiction.

2. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead). Adult fiction.

3. "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations ... One School at a Time" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Viking). Adult nonfiction.

4. "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia" by Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking). Adult nonfiction.

5. "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: a Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperCollins). Adult nonfiction.

6. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle (Philomel Books). Children's board book.

Source: Seattle Public Library

Notice that four out of the top six books are all about food? There's hope here that food for thought translates into eating responsibly.

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