111: Marion Nestle: Changing the food system
Marion Nestle is a hero for me. Food may be the greatest interest that got me into acting on my environmental action. Avoiding packaged food emerged from avoiding fiber-removed foods, which emerged from reading Diet for a Small Planet in the 80s, which also motivated her.
She, her books, and blog, Food Politics, are voices of sense in a crowded field. Her most recent book is The Unsavory Truth: How the Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat. I’ve read most of it and seeing her present on it led to meeting her in person. I recommend it.
Her other books include What to Eat, Food Politics, Why Calories Count, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda, and Safe Food. I’ve read about half of each of the first three, expecting to finish all, and recommend any to start—whether your interests include food, the environment, acting on your values, health, or nearly anything, really. There’s a big overlap between food and the environment regarding leadership, which she and I talk about.
This conversation covers the path toward leadership I expect many listeners are on, but that she has experience in since the 70s. Leadership often means starting with no obvious light at the end of the tunnel, only that you care about changing yourself and culture. I see her as a role model for acting in such situations, which probably feel familiar to listeners.
I wanted to bring vision that perseverance pays off, to take the long view. We can all learn from her experience.
Read the transcript.