For several years, I’ve been thinking more and more about what I — and the collective we — eat and where it comes from. Inspired by books like Michael Pollan‘s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Eric Schlosser‘s Fast Food Nation, and Jonathan Safran Foer‘s Eating Animals, I’m the sort of person these days who eats more vegan than not, and when not, aims to eat meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal products that were sustainably and humanely raised by local farmers. (Great local produce is just one of the many perks of living in Madison, Wisconsin.) I’m not a zealot, and my thinking about what I eat is ever-evolving. I’ve never been someone who loves to cook, but I’ve grown to appreciate the sense of wonder that comes from combining ingredients and a bit of heat to make a flavorful, healthful, sustaining meal. This blog aims to share bits of news and other thought-provoking pieces that can inform an ongoing consideration of what and how we eat in 21st-century USA.

A note on my nom de plume alimentaires — my “food pen name,” if you’ll forgive the butchered French: One of my favorite films of 2010 was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. (Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels on which the movie is based are great fun; check them out, too!) One of the characters, Todd Ingram (wonderfully portrayed by Brandon Routh), is a lunkhead who happens to have super powers thanks to his vegan ways. By writing under his name, I hope to convey the sense that, while I take the issue of what and how we eat seriously, I’m not afraid to laugh about my own shortcomings in this regard. If we weren’t complicated and contradictory, thoughtful and simpleminded, with capacities for greatness and baseness and banality, we wouldn’t be human.

Fan rendering of Todd Ingram from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Ivan Camelo (vancamelot) via deviantART. Used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)


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