Author Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany of Desire) recently talked with Bill Maher on his show Amazon Fishbowl. (Look for his name under 'guests' in the lefthand navigation). You may remember that Maher was the headline entertainer at the Sierra Summit last year, so we like to check in every so often and make sure we didn't damage his career too badly. Apparently, he's doing okay. Pollan has been interviewed by Sierra magazine and his best-selling books have been popular with environmentalists.
The two sat down to discuss Pollan's latest work in which he examines how Americans eat and declares us the 'Children of the Corn.' Corn is everywhere in our diet, Pollan says -- in our soft drinks, in wine, in yogurt, in our beef, you name it. One thing he doesn't mention here, but which is interesting to consider: Corn is also in our gas tanks. I'm not talking about the advent of E85. Corn ethanol has been part of the refining mix for some time -- purportedly to reduce smog, although the National Academies long ago dismissed the claim. The real reason it's in the mix, say some outspoken critics, is the corn lobby. Whatever the case may be, Pollan is probably correct in his assessment that we are the corniest nation on earth.