1 de mai de 2013

O legado de Michael Pollan

Há poucos dias, o novo livro do meu jornalista preferido, Michael Pollan, chegou às livrarias nos Estados Unidos. Cooked é sobre o que o autor considera a melhor solução para os problemas alimentares no mundo ocidental: cozinhar. Ainda deve levar uns meses para o livro ser traduzido para o português (provavelmente será publicado aqui pela Intrínseca), mas em inglês já dá para encomendar via internet

Enquanto aguardávamos o lançamento, o editor Geoffrey Cannon publicou na revista World Nutrition a introdução do livro e convidou um monte de gente para escrever depoimentos sobre  o conjunto da obra do autor. A surpresa foi que eu também fui convidada a dar meu depoimento, e ele foi publicado na edição de maio, que saiu hoje. Como a revista é publicada online no formado PDF, reproduzo aqui o que eu escrevi. 
E não é que eu tô ficando internacional? 

When did I come across Michael Pollan?
In 2007. I was a reporter at Época, the weekly news magazine of Globo, the biggest media group in Brazil. At that time I wasn’t a columnist yet, but I was trying to write more pieces about healthy eating, so once in a while my boss would suggest some reading on the topic. I can’t remember exactly how The Omnivore’s Dilemma came to my desk, but I do remember how it hit me in irreversible ways. I had already read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Marion Nestle’s Food Politics, so I had a good idea of how the food system in the USA worked. More than this, Michael Pollan’s book connected things in a way that made me realize how far health journalism and writing in general in Brazil, is from seeing the whole picture.

What impressed me at that time?
He has left his desk to write that book, something my colleagues and I have little scope to do before writing a report. I envy the amount of research he has done, the number of places he has travelled to, the scientific knowledge he has accumulated, and his capacity to understand the reality so deeply that he can deconstruct the kind of discourse we are accustomed to absorb from fragmented media. And he never does this in a pedantic or dull way. His writing is always clear, easy and irresistible. When you read his books you are likely to be convinced.

Rate his work and impact
After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I had to follow his work, which became the most important reference to the kind of journalism I wished to do as a professional interested in public health. This was not easy to do from where I was then. Investigative health journalism is not exactly the kind of thing the Brazilian media is asking (or paying) us to do. But when I talked with nutritionists who value and quote Michael Pollan, I knew he is not only a great journalist: he is one of the strongest voices of a movement for the rescue of people’s awareness. He is the one showing us that we are what we know about what we eat.

Has his work changed my own work and if so, how?
His work has shown me that I can be a journalist with a cause, and that this combination of roles was something to be pursued. So I decided to go back to university and look for different ways to bring our message to the audience. Maybe the mainstream media was not the best place to do it, I thought, as Big Food is one of its main sponsors. Currently I am not employed in any media company. I write for magazines as a freelancer and publish my own stories in my blog while I search for people and organisations that I can consider allies for future projects.

Which of his publications do I most recommend?
The Omnivore’s Dilemma is the one I consider the most complete, and I strongly recommend it for all those who seek to really know what’s going on. In Defense of Food goes more straight to the point, and Food Rules is the synthesis of his advice, which may be a good start for those who just want to know what to do, not so much why.

2 comentários:

Joel Fridman disse...

Sua fama já te precede, Fran.

Francine Lima disse...

Joel, seu lindo! Obrigada pelo mimo.