That's Michael Pollan's answer to the question of "what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy." This week the celebrated author visits Seattle with his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (see Annie Wagner's review). On Valentine's Day, Pollan will be at Lark for two dinners prepared by Chef Jonathan Sundstrom. Both seatings, which cost $150 a head, have been sold out for weeks. Luckily, if you haven't bought a seat at the table with Pollan, you can hear him read the night before at Town Hall.

I haven't yet read In Defense of Food, but in "Unhappy Meals," an essay Pollan wrote last year for the New York Times Magazine that lays out the "Eat Food" credo, he sets out some eating guidelines that stick with me, ideas that I think about every day. Pollan also reminds me, simply, to cook: "To take part in the intricate and endlessly interesting processes of providing for our sustenance is the surest way to escape the culture of fast food and the values implicit in it: that food should be cheap and easy; that food is fuel and not communion." recommended

Michael Pollan reads Wed Feb 13 at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 7:30 pm, $5 or free with advance purchase of the book at University Book Store.

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