Interviews of Print

Michael Pollan is Back with Mind-Bending Thoughts on Drugs, Ego Death, and the Healing Power of Plants

GQ spoke with the author about his new book, This is Your Mind on Plants, and the rapidly evolving cultural status of mind-altering substances. On the first page of his new book, This is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan poses a seemingly simple question: what exactly is a drug? “All who try to construct a sturdy definition of drugs

After a Hard Day’s Writing, Michael Pollan Likes to Unwind With a Novel

“Getting to read fiction purely for pleasure is the carrot I hold out for myself as a reward for the work of reporting and writing,” says the author, whose new book is “This Is Your Mind on Plants.” What books are on your night stand? It’s a hodgepodge of titles, to be read, or skimmed,

The efficiency curse

The first teachable moment of the pandemic, for me, had to do with the supply chain. Early on, supermarkets had shortages, and not just of food; other everyday items were also hard to find. The first example everyone noticed was toilet paper. That mystified people, and the immediate response was to blame it on hoarding.

Michael Pollan: Why I started taking LSD and what it helped me to do

Are psychedelic drugs, like youth, wasted on the young? Could middle age be the ideal time to try some consciousness expanding – to “shake the snow globe” as one neuroscientist puts it.

Michael Pollan on psychedelia: ‘Everything I once was had been liquefied’

The writer Michael Pollan is best known for his advice, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” His bestselling books (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Cooked) have served up large helpings of food for thought — about the health claims of packaged meals, the iniquities of industrial farming, and the joy a home-cooked family dinner can bring. In his seventh decade, however, Pollan has become fascinated by a new subject — psychedelic drugs.

Michael Pollan takes a trip in his latest book, “How to Change Your Mind”

Over the past 30 years, in numerous food- and farm-related articles, and in his five best-selling books, including “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “Food Rules,” Michael Pollan has always retained a degree of journalistic detachment as he’s teased out the complexities of modern food production and consumption — namely why we eat what we eat, and the environmental and health consequences of our choices.

But when Pollan reported on a subject far more controversial than GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and Big Ag — the current renaissance in psychedelics research — for a 2015 New Yorker article “The Trip Treatment,” he realized he had “just scratched the surface” of a subject that only amped up his fascination the more he learned.

Can we all benefit from psychedelics?

Undoubtedly one of the finest writers of our time, best selling author Michael Pollan is most widely associated for his writings on the food industrial complex.

It’s an industry that has unconsciously found its way into our stomachs and minds. Behind this quest to get us thinking more about our health, Pollan is a truth seeker. Like any great journalist, he will unravel an entire field, before he puts pen to paper and his approach has earnt him millions of fans across the world.

For his next endeavour, he’s used himself as a guinea pig to better understand the profound area of psychedelics and its effect on the brain. A subject that has revived itself through the orthodoxies of science to much public interest.

Michael Pollan: Can Psychedelics Save the World?

Most people know Michael Pollan as a food writer. His 2006 book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is widely credited with helping spark the modern food movement, in which everyday Americans began asking questions about where their food comes from. But in his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Pollan shifts his lens away from food and onto the world of hallucinogenic medicines, in which people are tripping – both legally and illegally – on LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics in order to heal mental and emotional afflictions.

The Science of Altering Consciousness

Among scientists, there are tentative signs of a psychedelics renaissance. After decades of stigma, impressive research is showing the power of these substances to help sufferers of depression and addiction, or to comfort patients with a terminal cancer diagnosis, struggling to face their own end. This is the fascinating territory that the journalist Michael Pollan explores with his new book, “How to Change Your Mind.” Pollan dives into brain science, the history of psychedelics (and our tortured attitudes towards them) but his larger subject is the nature of human consciousness.

Michael Pollan: ‘I was a very reluctant psychonaut’

Michael Pollan first became interested in new research into psychedelic drugs in 2010, when a front-page story in the New York Times declared, “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning in Again”. The story revealed how in a large-scale trial researchers had been giving terminally ill cancer patients large doses of psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – to help them deal with their “existential distress” as they approached death. The initial findings were markedly positive. Pollan, author of award-winning and bestselling books about botany, food politics and the way we eat, was born in 1955, a little too late for the Summer of Love.