Pollan-Nation: One Man's Defense of Food

"So the way to make money is to sell, say, something like Cheerios," he continued. "Take those rolled oats, give them a little shape, give them a brand, suddenly you're charging four bucks for even less than a pound of rolled oats. That's good money. You, you make money in the processing, the value added."

Taking it one step further, the real money is made when the people who make cereal start making cereal bars.

"You make a cereal bar with a little layer of synthetic milk. You've seen these in the store. This is the latest way to sell cereal. That's even better. Then you're, you're charging 10, 15 dollars for, for a little thing of oats. And you, what are you selling? You're selling convenience because you don't even need to pour milk and put 'em in a bowl anymore. You can eat it on the way to the school bus or in the car."

The high cost of cheap food.  But there is hope. People are changing their behaviors because of Pollan, whose book has resonated with top chefs and home cooks; with farmers and ranchers; with urban dwellers and suburbanites. And even with this reporter, who has given up her cereal bars.

Special Thanks To:
The Berkeley Ecology Center
Berkeley Farmers Market
Marin Organic
Star Route Farms, Bolinas, Calif.
Yale University
Yale Sustainable Food Project

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