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Marion Nestle's Green Bean Moment

Original story at Maria Rodale• mentions •

Maria Rodale


Last week, I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing professor and author Marion Nestle about her new book Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics (Rodale, 2013). We actually did a video interview in my New York office, fulfilling one of my youthful dreams of being a talk-show host just like Mike Douglas (I'm talking about the one with the 1960s show, not the Michael Douglas y'all read about today.) Anyway, back to Marion. I asked her how she got interested in the whole realm of food and nutrition and what kind of food she grew up eating, and she got this sentimental look on her face and said she was going to tell me about her "green bean moment." Marion grew up in New York City, and when she was about 8, she went to a summer camp in Vermont. It was there that her life-altering moment occurred when she picked a fresh green bean from the plant and bit right into it. Now, anyone who has ever eaten a fresh, raw green bean knows what happened next. In fact, I'd just done this a few days ago, eating one of the last crisp green beans of the summer (a climbing rattlesnake bean) right from the vine, and the late season tinge of end-of-summer made it all the more sweet. A fresh green bean is sweet, crisp, and packed with flavor and crunch, with a clean and fragrant aftertaste. Well, when Marion experienced one, it changed her view of food forever. Fresh green beans are nothing like canned, which was all she had known up until that moment.

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