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Food Writing: Michael Pollan

November 15, 2016

Perhaps the most popularly read American environmental writer in the last 10 years, after Bill McKibben (the editor of American Earth, author of The End of Nature, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone on climate change issues) is Michael Pollan. He is a journalist and author–an excerpt from The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is included in our anthology, and Singer and Mason refer to Pollan and this book. Since that book, Pollan has achieved an even wider audience with works such as In Defense of Food and more recently, Cooked. He is the go-to-writer for thoughts on the current state of our food system, featured prominently in the documentary Food, Inc., as well as in the earlier documentary King Corn.

For some further reading into Pollan’s views on food, link to this article “Michael Pollan Explains What’s Wrong with the Paleo Diet.”

One of Pollan’s suggestion is to eat more microbes (as well as more plants, less meat). Here is a fascinating article Pollan wrote on microbes–a model for a current focus in environmental writing and ecocriticism that explores a biocentric vision or revision of the world. I think of this as an updated version of Leopold’s history of the world from the vantage point of atoms.

Given the popularity of his writing and recommendations, Pollan has drawn the ire of the food and animal industry–particularly for his influence on college students and their food choices–apparently known as “Pollan-nation.” Here is some taste of that, “Big Meat vs. Michael Pollan.”

A recent special issue in the New York Times Magazine on Big Food–including a photo essay.

Polyface Farm–the farm profiled by Pollan, featured in Food, Inc., and also referred to by Singer and Mason.

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