27 December 2007

Happy Blogday!

I've always thought that a second Saturday, a double Sunday of rest, or an otherwise extra day of the week would be a great addition to the timeframes we've created for ourselves so far...Increasingly, I think what our modern world needs at this internetastic point is Blogday. This eighth day is specifically for generating these random, ether-injecting posts, preserving those other days for the sleep we need, and real work we should be doing on company time.

Which is to say, apologies to those who used to tune into these pages to hear stories from the road, and have been bored off to other pursuits by an aged meatloaf post. Ground beef goodness only goes so far. And apparently so does casual anthropological pursuits - when there's sleep to be had.

Travels of late include my armchair journey (at last) through the entirety of Omnivore's Dilemma. In addition to the many fascinating, and horrifying, food systems at work out there (what do you know about the food you eat, really?), the book offers up nuggets of ecological wonder and factoids that almost make me consider re-attempting that biology degree.

Yes, reading about the efficiency of hedgerows on field edges, the magic of corn reproduction, and the vast natural strength of biodiversity makes me swoon. It cannot be helped. It seems I'm rounding the full-circle curve in my land-food appreciations, and think I should head straight back to the environmentalist-hippie-geek camp I went to as a kid and exclaim, "Dude, all things ARE connected!"

To you, I exclaim: read this book. Do you eat? Do you shop at the grocery? Then it won't be just be a fascinating journey through the means of the industrial takeover of food systems, but a requisite civic and humanistic read. It reads easy, spotlights the talents of a journalist reporting with bald facts (not purchased ones) and human wonder, and it will - I kid you not - change your life. We're talking about food - when does it not change your life, literally and metaphorically?

Here's to the wonder you can explore or buy (eat) into 3 times a day...and here's to my scoring a substantial job supporting the like. If I ace my interview tomorrow morning, I'll buy anyone who requests it a copy of the book. Seriously. Perhaps on Blogday there is such thing as a free lunch.

With absolutely no permission from Michael Pollan and lots of readerly enthusiasm:

"For some reason the image that stuck with me from that day was that slender blade of grass in a too-big, wind-whipped pasture, burning all those calories just to stand up straight and keep its chloroplasts aimed at the sun. I'd always thought of the trees and grasses as antagonists - another zero-sum deal in which the gain of the one entails the loss of the other...But either-or is a construction more deeply woven into our culture than into nature, where even antagonists depend on one another and the liveliest places are the edges, the in-betweens or both-ands...Relations are what matter most, and the health of the cultivated turns on the health of the wild. ...'One of the greatest assets of a farm is the sheer ecstasy of life.'"