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October 9, 2009

Big Ag's Odd Obsession with You-Know-Who
I really really really didn't want to write another post on Michael Pollan. Don't get me wrong -- I'm a big fan. It's just that reducing the whole of the food movement to Pollan's work naturally ignores so much else that's going on. But don't blame me for this post. Blame Big Ag. These guys just can't leave him alone -- it's verging on an unhealthy obsession. They seem to think that if they can just share a stage with him wherever he pops up, they'll show him (and the audience) how wrong he really is. It's happening all over the country.

First came the brouhaha over Ominvore's Dilemma at Washington State University. Then it happened again at the Univesity of Wisconsin at Madison. In that case, the very presence of Pollan was enough to bring out hundreds of protesting farmers. Now we get word that an industrial livestock producer threatened to withdraw a $500,000 donation to Cal Poly until Pollan's speech to students was transformed into a panel discussion so Big Ag interests could respond.

Big Ag has clearly decided that Pollan is a latter-day Lenin (or perhaps Trotsky?) leading a cadre of food revolutionaries who threaten to overthrow its hard-fought hegemony -- rebut his arguments and perhaps the whole movement will collapse like a bad soufflé. All in reaction to a relatively unassuming guy who's written some articles and a few books. Isn't this all, like, a bit much?

READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON GRIST.ORG...

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