Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yin and Yang

A brief three days back in Colorado and then off to jump into the Preakness in Baltimore this Friday and Saturday. Stealing just a second to mention a pair of books that really should be read as a pair.

A few months ago, a friend recommended Thomas L. Friedman's, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Beyond being dated by having been right about much, the effect of which is that the late-coming reader is constantly thinking, "Well, duh," the book is a good study of globalization. To condense the point (a lot), globalization is inevitable, and largely good.

About the same time, an equally respected friend was touting the work of Michael Pollan, coincidentally at the same time that Pollan was scheduled to speak at a private college near my home. [The power of blogging is that you can link to all these things--books, other blogs, people, the college; the power of having a job is that I don't have time to add links tonight. Sorry. Maybe later.] I went to hear Pollan speak. I bought his book and am now about three-quarters through it. To condense the point (again, a lot), globalization/industrialization of the food chain into a monoculture based largely on a single plant, corn, is not inevitable, but is happening, and is bad. Bad on so many levels that all I can say is READ THE BOOK. Friedman, not so much.

Here's why I say read one, read it, read it, read it, but just read the other if you have some time to kill. Friedman will explain some things about the world today and how it came to be as it is. Cool to know, but it won't really drive you to change anything about your life. Pollan will tell you things you'll never learn otherwise, and that will change the way you see many things, and probably, the way you live and, most particularly, shop for and eat food.

And that is all I have time for today. Peace. Out.