Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan is the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He is also one of the most interesting and persuasive writers about food, nutrition, agriculture and nature available.

I first ran into Michael listening to the Omnivore’s Dilemma. I’m not sure quite why I picked the book up, but I’m glad I did. What Michael does in that book is trace the history of four different meals from their origin to the table. In the process, he explores topics of agribusiness, food processing, advertisement and natural resources. As one reviewer put it, no one else except perhaps Stephen King can make a corn field seem so sinister. Michel is also one of the minds behind the movie Food Inc.

Readers loved the Omnivores Dilemma, but the reaction he got was “Ok, so what we eat is terrible for us. What SHOULD we eat?” His response to that was to write In Defense of Food, and Food Rules, which investigate nutrition and food science and try to come up with a workable answer to our eating dilemma based on traditional culture.

All of Pollan’s writing is richly researched, but written in an entertaining style. You’ll have trouble putting his books down, as he leads you from one unexpected fact or discovery to another. And he will inspire you with a desire to eat food that is more natural, traditional, locally grown and healthy. Apply his principles with dedication and you may just save your own life AND the planet.

Below is a brief clip of Michael answering questions about his book, Food Rules.

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