Tag Archives: Michael Pollan

Some of his best friends are germs

Archigram’s “Walking City” image via Technoccult. Click image for more on that.

From Michael Pollan in the New York Times:

“I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a laboratory located at the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome — that is, the genes not of “me,” exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body. These bacteria, which number around 100 trillion, are living (and dying) right now on the surface of my skin, on my tongue and deep in the coils of my intestines, where the largest contingent of them will be found, a pound or two of microbes together forming a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map. Continue reading

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Michael Pollan talks GMO labeling in NY Times: “Vote for the Dinner Party”

Michael Pollan, in the New York Times:

“…Big Food is also feeling beleaguered by its increasingly skeptical and skittish consumers. Earlier this year the industry was rocked when a blogger in Houston started an online petition to ban the use of “pink slime” in the hamburger served in the federal school-lunch program. Pink slime — so-called by a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist — is a kind of industrial-strength hamburger helper made from a purée of slaughterhouse scraps treated with ammonia.

We have apparently been ingesting this material for years in hamburger patties, but when word got out, the eating public went ballistic. Within days, the U.S.D.A. allowed schools to drop the product, and several supermarket chains stopped carrying it, shuttering several of the plants that produce it. Shortly after this episode, I received a panicky phone call from someone in the food industry, a buyer for one of the big food-service companies. After venting about the “irrationality” of the American consumer, he then demanded to know: “Who’s going to be hit next? It could be any of us.” Continue reading

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Farmpunk culture, or “keeping up with the Joneses” post-millennial style

From Isolde Raftery at the New York Times:

Tyler and Alicia Jones on their farm. Photo: Leah Nash for the NY Times

“CORVALLIS, Ore. — For years, Tyler Jones, a livestock farmer here, avoided telling his grandfather how disillusioned he had become with industrial farming. Continue reading

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Americans are “Food Libertarians” — they want to eat what they want, when they want, and where they want

From a Society Pages post titled “Let them eat Cheetos”, a treatise on food and social class in America. Among their findings: “Essentially,” he [Michael Pollan] says, “we have a system where wealthy farmers feed the poor crap and poor farmers feed the wealthy high-quality food.”

“The phrase “you are what you eat” may refer to more than your physical make-up. In fact, the food in your fridge might say just as much about your social class as about your health.  Newsweek reports: Continue reading

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Senate “food safety” bill S-510 passed

From the story on Natural News.com:

Picture: Natural News.com

“(NaturalNews) Senate Bill S 510 – the “Food Safety Modernization Act” – was passed by the U.S. Senate today (http://www.naturalnews.com/030576_F…). If signed into law, it would unleash a new era of FDA tyranny over farmers, food producers and even small family farms, many of which already exceed the “small farms exclusion” written into the bill…”

“….Notably, there was not a single Democrat who opposed the bill. This bill was also supported by Food, Inc. authors Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, who have become the favored food commentators of the left. It’s now clear why: In supporting this bill, they have aligned themselves against Constitutional freedoms and in favor of increased Big Government (FDA) authority over food, seeds and farmers. Continue reading


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Raw milk maverick Michael Schmidt and lunatic farmer Joel Salatin both to be in Vancouver on September 27th

That is, they’ll both be in Vancouver and environs. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael Schmidt made a point of going to Joel Salatin’s lecture, titled “AN EVENING WITH A LUNATIC FARMER”, to be held in conjunction with UBC farm on Sept. 27 2010. Here’s the notice we received via our west coast correspondent:

In collaboration with UBC Farm, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks is pleased to announce a fundraising evening with Joel Salatin, holistic farmer, author, educator and activist. On Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, Joel and his family nurture a non-industrial, food production oasis. Instead of conventional methods of farming the Salatins debunk all conventional food production with their refreshing paradigm that respects the natural physiology of animals, the land, the rhythms of nature and human connectedness to it all. Continue reading


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Michael Pollan on contemporary food movements, from vegan raw foodies to “born-again carnivores”

Here’s an excerpt from a recent story from The Ethicurean blog by Bonnie Azab Powell:


Pollan nation: In what is ostensibly a five-book review for the June 10 New York Review of Books, journalist Michael Pollan has an epic essay charting the emergence and character of the food movement. Or, as he puts it, “‘movements,’ since it is unified as yet by little more than the recognition that industrial food production is in need of reform because its social/environmental/public health/animal welfare/gastronomic costs are too high.” (Pollan, of course, has been indispensable in the rise of this movement, yet he omits his 2006 best-seller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, from his list of its catalysts — among them Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, Marion Nestle’s Food Politics.)

This collection of movements is a “big, lumpy tent,” says Pollan: Continue reading

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Watch Michael Pollan being interviewed on Kentucky Educational Television

Found a link to this on Colin Farrell’s blog “From Curiosity to Knowledge”:

Michael Pollan on television -- click image above to go to page where you can watch the video of this interview with Kentucky Educational TV.

“Several times each year, the Kentucky Author Forum brings a distinguished writer and interviewer to the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Their conversation is taped before a live audience to air on KET and on PBS stations nationwide as Great Conversations. (Some programs from previous seasons air in Kentucky as Kentucky Author Forum Presents: A Conversation With…)

The series showcases a diverse and fascinating array of authors and interviewers from a wide range of fields—from politics, science, and education to public affairs, journalism, and the arts. Continue reading

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Seattle Times on raw milk mooovement

Here’s an excerpt from Maureen O’Hagan’s lengthy story for the Seattle Times titled “Is raw unpasteurized milk safe?”:

Click image above to go to Seattle Times page to watch video

“There’s long been a libertarian streak running through the raw-milk crowd. A Christian one, too. Now it’s attracting another demographic entirely: advocates of local food. Dairymen are seizing that opportunity. Five years ago, there were six licensed raw-milk dairies in Washington; today there are 28.

“Unpasteurized milk is a curious thing. It costs up to $13 a gallon. It says right on the carton: “WARNING: This product … may contain harmful bacteria.”

Yet people are passionate about it. Almost evangelistic.

So in early December, when the state announced that raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery in Sequim was linked with three E. coli cases, the reaction was, well … emotional. Continue reading


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Brooklyn milk traffickers deal “raw”

Here’s an excerpt from a recent post on the Gothamist blog:

Hannah Springer and her son Oliver Corvera drink raw milk — meaning it’s not pasteurized or homogenized. As such, it’s also very much underground. Photo Bess Alder/The Brooklyn Paper

“Swearing that a drink of raw milk beats a trip to the doctor, a Brooklyn woman has gotten in with an underground network that traffics the unhomogenized, unpasteurized product.

According to the Brooklyn Paper, Hannah Springer and her fellow milk smugglers meet at secret “drop-off” points around the city, to collect bottles driven down from farms in Pennsylvania.

Like many converts, Springer had her first taste after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and now she’s addicted. “I no longer have to take thyroid meds, which every doctor said I would be on for the rest of my life,” said the mom, who feeds two glasses of the stuff to her 18-month old son daily. But if its curative properties are what she says, why does the FDA call it “inherently dangerous”? Continue reading


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