As Bill McKibben explains in this issue, people love the Tuscany region of Italy because of its comprehensibility. From a hilltop you can see vineyards and olive groves in their entirety, and you can trace the course of rivers. And you can see where much of your food comes from.
Much of the food we eat in the U.S. travels thousands of miles and has been processed or irradiated along the way. This past summer a friend handed me a dog-eared copy of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. My friend and his wife had recently moved from the city to a small farm in southwest Michigan to try their hand at raising a miniature breed of cattle. When I asked him what prompted them to do something so courageous, he cited several reasons and then pointed to Pollan’s book. “This is what did it.”