Michael Pollan’s 36-Hour Feast

Food Rules author Michael Pollan has written another lengthy New York Times article, and as usual with Pollan there’s as much to hate as there is to like. Some initial observations:

  • In its own way, this piece is as extreme as a day spent eating nothing but trail mix. I found myself thoroughly sick of the author and all his fellow eaters by the halfway point.
  • While Pollan’s famous maxim is “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” this article seems to purposefully ignore that advice. Admittedly, this gathering was for the sake of a feast. But if you’ve ever thought that Pollan is anything but a die-hard carnivore, this article will clarify his true feelings like nothing he’s previously written.
  • The piece is likely to turn off as many people as it turns on. After all, how many of us have access to a spare goat, an outdoor oven, a handful of professional chefs, and 36 hours of time without responsibilities? Vegans won’t be the only group this piece rubs the wrong way, and Pollan is needlessly marginalizing himself and his foodie sensibilities.
  • Everyone except the goat had a marvelous time. There’s no reason this sort of communal meal needed to have victims. And I highly doubt that the slaughtered goat felt consoled that Pollan hoisted a glass in his memory to end the 36-hour feast. I know that kind of empty gesture always pisses me off.

Pieces by Pollan always generate a lot of discussion, and I’d expect some Vegan.com readers to have some interesting insights into this article. I’m starting a discussion thread on the fan page, and I’ll blog some of your comments tonight. Link.