Many take pride in the fact that the Bay Area was one of the first regions to suddenly look at its dinner plate and say, "No more!" Now, knowing the growing coordinates of the mache you nibbled and the exercise logs of the chicken you dispatched is a simply part of a responsible night out. Tonight, the California Academy of Sciences' author series presents Michael Pollan in conversation with Patricia Unterman, which is a major local foodie event, on par with Alice Waters regarding a new vegetable. As the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Pollan followed four meals through our food-production maze. He also tried to eat stuff he hunted, gathered, or grew himself, which means he shot a pig. And he clued us into a delicious fact: A McDonald's meal basically consists of corn, right down to the fries. Today he talks about his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which contains the simple yet slippery commandment, "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." One of the things she would not recognize: frozen foods. Good luck with that.
Thu., Jan. 3, 8 p.m., 2008