Jon Stewart started out with a simple question Monday night for Michael Pollan, journalism professor and author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and the new book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. Stewart asks for one simple, overriding food rule from the "snack sized" book.
"This is going to sound weird," Pollan answers, "but it's eat food."
Pollan and Stewart go on to discuss the difference between food and "edible, food-like substances."
Pollan articulates one of his central arguments to Stewart: "I think we need to recognize that cheap food has a very high cost, in terms of health and the environment. That cost is getting paid by other people, by the public health system. That's part of the problem and the disconnect. I think that's where there's a disconnect, between what you pay for a cheap, fast-food meal, and the ultimate price of eating that way."
Pollan also predicts that the passage of the healthcare bill, with some rules about insurance companies having to take people with pre-existing conditions, will change the food and health dynamic. Pollan explains, "suddenly the health insurers will have an interest in your health, which they don't have now."
"That's the worst sentence I've ever heard said!" Stewart exclaims. "Suddenly the health insurers will have an interest in your health, which right now they don't?!?!" Stewart loves the irony, and so do we.
-- filed by Katherine Goldstein