Michael Pollan’s famous motto for a smart, healthy diet is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Add to that: “And when you happen to be on your publisher’s expense account, splurge.” The night we met up to chat at a place of his choosing, he tucked into a roasted slab of B.C. wild Chinook salmon, a tangle of salad greens and several glasses of good Okanagan Pinot Gris in the swank environs of the Blue Water Café in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood.
Pollan, who lives in Berkeley, California, has championed the cause of stronger local food networks with his bestsellers The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. He was in town to sign books and headline a sold-out picnic fundraiser to preserve the University of British Columbia’s urban farm as a working laboratory for sustainable agriculture. His rousing talk drew a standing ovation, and even a few tears.
As a dinner companion, Pollan is loose, friendly, and, as you might expect, intellectually omnivorous, peppering his interviewer with more questions than he was asked.