Author Archive

The Holy Church of Food

His master stroke is a ringing declaration of nutritional independence: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

In Defense of Food

He's way too polite to tell us what to eat. Instead, he uses his familiar brand of carefully researched, common-sense journalism to persuade, providing guidelines and convincing arguments.

Just eat what your great-grandma ate

Pollan's advice is sensible and even inspiring.

Our Decrepit Food Factories

The word “sustainability” has gotten such a workout lately that the whole concept is in danger of floating away on a sea of inoffensiveness. Everybody, it seems, is for it whatever “it” means. On a recent visit to a land-grant university’s spanking-new sustainability institute, I asked my host how many of the school’s faculty members were involved.

In Defense of Food

A writer of great subtlety, Pollan doesn't preach to the choir; in fact, rarely does he preach at all, preferring to let the facts speak for themselves.

Weed It and Reap

For Americans who have been looking to Congress to reform the food system, these past few weeks have been, well, the best of times and the worst of times. A new politics has sprouted up around the farm bill, traditionally a parochial piece of legislation thrashed out in private between the various agricultural interests (wheat growers versus corn growers; meatpackers versus ranchers) without a whole lot of input or attention from mere eaters.

Table Talk: A Conversation with Michael Pollan

In his 1996 book Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom, the great food anthropologist Sidney Mintz concluded that the United States had no cuisine. Interestingly, Mintz’s definition of cuisine came down to conversation. For Mintz, Americans just didn’t engage in passionate talk about food. Unlike the southwest French and their cassoulet, most Americans don’t obsess and quarrel

We’re Living on Corn!

Reading Pollan's book, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the food industry has confined many Americans to their own urban feedlots, in which they have grown obese, ill, and uncurious about the source or nutritional quality of their food.

New Grub Street

Time was, a war of words between a food writer and an organic-foods retailer would have attracted the interest of maybe seven people in your local food co-op””a bit of chatter over the brown-rice bin and everyone would move on. Those of us in a Safeway with our Perdue roasters and our broccoli avec a

You Are What You Grow

A few years ago, an obesity researcher at the University of Washington named Adam Drewnowski ventured into the supermarket to solve a mystery. He wanted to figure out why it is that the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person’s wealth. For most of history, after all, the poor have typically suffered from a shortage of calories, not a surfeit. So how is it that today the people with the least amount of money to spend on food are the ones most likely to be overweight?