Interviews & Profiles

Author Michael Pollan on Recode Decode

Michael speaks with Kara Swisher about his new book.

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.

The Ezra Klein Show: A mind-expanding conversation with Michael Pollan

This is a discussion about how to expand your mind — how to expand the connections it makes, the experiences it’s open to, the sensory information it absorbs. And, more than that, this is a conversation about recognizing that our minds are narrower than we think, that there is a lot we’re filtering out and pruning away and outright ignoring.

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.

Consciousness, Chemically Altered

In his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan writes of his own consciousness-expanding experiments with psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin, and he makes the case for why shaking up the brain’s old habits could be therapeutic for people facing addiction, depression, or death.

In this segment, Ira talks with Pollan and psychedelics researcher Robin Carhart-Harris about the neuroscience of consciousness, and how psychedelic drugs may alter the algorithms and habits our brains use to make sense of the world.

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.

Exploring The World Of Psychedelics With Michael Pollan

Tune in, turn on, and… maybe change your mind. Author Michael Pollan revisits psychedelic drugs, a mainstay of the counterculture in the 60’s, long since fallen out of fashion. Turns out Timothy Leary may have been right about the therapeutic potential of these mind-bending drugs. Could magic mushrooms finally help people quit smoking? Could LSD be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, or addiction?

This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs

“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

‘Reluctant Psychonaut’ Michael Pollan Embraces The ‘New Science’ Of Psychedelics

Author Michael Pollan had always been curious about psychoactive plants, but his interest skyrocketed when he heard about a research study in which people with terminal cancer were given a psychedelic called psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — to help them deal with their distress.

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.