The Pollan-Mackey smackdown last night was good entertainment. It was not a conversation that will solve the world's food problems.
Both sides were well prepared, but there can be no argument that Michael Pollan controlled the evening, and even manipulated things. He's got more presence as a speaker (and a more mellifluous voice; wait, was Mackey's microphone sabotaged?), so he seized the leading-star role.
John Mackey was rumored to have been quite nervous going into this debate, but I found him to be humorous, intelligent, and game.
Quick aside here, if you haven't been following: Michael Pollan attacked Mackey's Whole Foods company in the book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Mackey, CEO of the chain, has instigated some impressive changes in response. Story still unfolding.
BUT: Here was my favorite remark of the evening, regarding whether an organic, local diet was within economic reach of most eaters, wherever you do your shopping.
Mackey said, "If you cook, you can do it."
He meant no take-out, no icky prepared deli meals, no granola bars. Just fresh, or bulk, or sensible. Apply water, a pan, a little fat, some heat. Presto, you got a good, inexpensive meal.
I recommend it.
If you've got time to waste in front of the television, surely you can spend a few gratifying moments banging around in the kitchen. It's good for you, and you can afford it.