Marion Nestle

What I thought I would write about was going to the Commonwealth Club at lunch to hear Nina Planck in conversation about her book, real food (no caps), What To Eat And Why. The book has a recommendation on the front cover by Michael Pollan, which I can only compare to Oprah picking your book for her club. But I hadn't seen the book when I got to the club, late, and there was a $15 cover charge. I considered skipping it but I was already there, tiptoed in and ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Nina, the "patron saint of farmers' markets", as her book jacket refers to her, was bright and articulate, a warehouse of information, kind, generous. It was worth every penny and I bought her book which was thankfully in paperback so I do still have some cash left for the first farmers' market of the year in Pt. Reyes tomorrow morning.

Later, checking out the Commonwealth Club website to figure out if there would be a broadcast of Nina's talk I found an entire list of speakers that can be downloaded or audio streamed. Marion Nestle, who I think could be Nina's older sister or first cousin, was one of them and I immediately listened to a talk she gave in April about her book, What to Eat.

Marion is a lovely speaker and I don't often use the word lovely in describing anyone but she is exceptional. I could listen to her read the phone book. She talks as if she is sitting in my living room having a cup of tea, english breakfast, with a vase of watercolored flowers beside her, a soft sweater draped around her shoulders. And while she is seemingly making friends with the audience she is delivering a wealth of information. It makes me think of that saying, life is what happens while you are doing something else. I just like listening to her voice. The rest is a bonus.

Nina and Marion agree on almost everything in terms of what to eat - eat fresh, local and around the perimeters of the grocery store. Their difference - Nina likes more cheese. That's going to be good news at my house when the cute guy hears about it!

There's a link to the audio stream of Marion's talk at the Commonwealth Club in the title above.

Nina will be also be doing a reading and book signing at the Ferry Building tomorrow at noon in the North Arcade.

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