Gut Check Thing of the Year Nominee: Michael Pollan

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Gut Check honors the people, places and things that obsessed us in 2008. The winner will be named on Tuesday, December 30.

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Michael Pollan

Pros: The author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto has emerged as the public face of the movement toward sustainable local agriculture and "real" food. His open letter in the New York Times to the (then unknown) next president was an urgent, vital argument for where this country's food policy needs to go.

Cons: It remains to be seen how influential Pollan and the movement toward sustainable local agriculture is or can become. And President-elect Barack Obama's pick of former Iowa Governor -- and friend of Monsanto -- Tom Vilsack doesn't bode well for a radical change in U.S. food or farm policies.

- Ian Froeb

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