Omnivore's Decade

10 years after 'The Omnivore's Dilemma,' Michael Pollan reflects

Ten years ago this summer, Michael Pollan released The Omnivore's Dilemma helping launch a revolution in food and provoking people around the country to ask, "Where does my food come from, and what does that mean globally?" This week in The Washington Post, Pollan examines how food in America has changed over the past decade and looks at the direction he hopes it is moving. Writing:

Pollan is also encouraged by changing statistics, pointing out that there has been a 180 percent increase in farmers' markets around the country over the past decade, as well as an increase in school garden programs, like Edible Schoolyard, with others on the rise. Also, Pollan points out that soda sales were down by 14 percent between 2004 and 2014. (Though, it's hard to ignore the fact that this article comes the same week as a study that draws a link between celebrity endorsements and the consumption of unhealthy foods by teens.)

While there are noticeable changes in the country's attitude toward its food, Pollan worries about "Big Food" buying up artisanal producers, fast-food companies promising to move toward healthier and more sustainable practices but not keeping their word, and "farm-washing," where industrialized food like eggs or meat are sold with misleading labels. Considering a recent study found that 73 percent of people buy food that's labeled "natural" even though that term isn't regulated or assigned a specific meaning when it comes to food, this is a valid concern.

A national food policy would take years to come together, but in Pollan's mind, it would: