Michael Pollan, Joan Gussow and Dan Barber Speak

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When I headed uptown to the 92nd Street Y last night to hear Michael Pollan, Dan Barber and Joan Dye Gussow speak to Hedonistic, Healthy And Green: Can We Have It All?, I expected to see a few hundred fellow urban hippies and had some vague words of praise in mind for each of them for the post-lecture signing. Silly me.

Instead I encountered a throng of close to one thousand people, elbowing each other, cutting the line for the box office, and jittering with near Beatle-mania pre-show excitement. And I liked it.

How encouraging it is to sit in a room with close to a thousand of seemingly like-minded folks and listen to these giants of the food movement speak about (and agree on) the urgent situation we eaters find ourselves in. If you’ve read any of Pollan or Gussow’s books, or Barber’s essays, you probably already know their schtick, as I did. But like going to church (or in this case thanks to many a joke about Jewish boys liking artisanal pork, synagogue) the event was an invigorating reminder of what’s good and what’s right and how one might even begin to consider these ideas on a daily basis. Basic stuff.

And for me, personally, it was a reminder of why I do what I do.

One could have left the lecture and discussion they gave at the 92nd Street Y last night and felt a little droopy, as I also did, wanting some concrete “how-tos” on saving the world through food. And then I woke up this morning, laced my shoes and walked to the office. This is where I’m doing my little part. With homage to the Pollans and Barbers and Gussows of the world for their sparkling prose and engaging presence, and to you, dear readers, for your simply being here.

Keep cooking. Keep connecting to your food. It makes a difference.