The one exception to the bleak outlook is the rise and rise of local farmers’ markets, and what Pollan calls “Big Organic” stores such as Whole Foods Market where accurate source labelling is crucial to shopping decisions. From his perch in Berkeley he is under no illusion that somehow this salutary revolution is going to reach the mass of American people in recessionary times, but Pollan is tired of hearing from the better off that the reason the hired help defrosts yet another pizza, or lugs the kids off to a Happy Meal – while the gourmet trophy Viking stove goes begging – is shortage of time. The average amount of time spent on cooking, eating and cleaning up a meal, he says, is 31 minutes; the average daily non-professional time at a computer two hours, and in front of a television three hours.
Pollan sighs. “You know, we have been drilled to believe that only in the workplace do Americans produce something. But when we cook we are producers too. It’s sad that we are supposed to be just consumers.”
And... umm... How could I go this long without knowing about and reading Second Nature (Pollan's first book)!?!? O.M.G. Schama met Pollan for the first time soon after its publication in 1991 and summarizes it as, "An epic battle with a woodchuck that was treating Pollan’s garden as his personal canteen. The struggle for supremacy between resolute gardener and resourceful rodent builds to a titanic climax with the Man of the Soil emptying cans of gasoline down the varmint’s burrow and setting light to it like some deranged garden Nazi bent on a backyard Götterdämmerung."