32 Famous Michael Pollan Quotes

32 Famous Michael Pollan Quotes

by / Comments Off / 1092 View / Dec 29, 2014

Michael Pollan is an author, activist, and professor from Long Island, New York. He is most known for his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, where he describes the basic ways that humans have obtained their food. He is currently a professor of journalism at Berkely.

“A French poet famously referred to the aroma of certain cheeses as the ‘pieds de Dieu’—the feet of god. Just to be clear: foot odor of a particularly exalted quality, but still—foot odor.”

“Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar, B) Unpronounceable, C) More than five in number, or that include D) High-Fructose corn Syrup.”

“Corn is the hero of its own story, and though we humans played a crucial supporting role in its rise to world domination, it would be wrong to suggest we have been calling the shots, or
acting always in our own best interests. Indeed there is every reason to believe that corn has succeeded in domesticating us.”

“Darwin called such a process artificial, as opposed to natural, selection, but from the flower’s point of view, this is a distinction without a difference: individual plants in which a
trait desired by either bees or Turks occurred wound up with more offspring.”

“Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting.”

“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.”

“Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.”

“Eating’s not a bad way to get to know a place.”

“Experiences that banish irony are much better for living than for writing.”

“For a product to carry a health claim on its package, it must first have a package, so right off the bat it’s more likely to be processed rather than a whole food.”

“For it is only by forgetting that we ever really drop the thread of time and approach the experience of living in the present moment, so elusive in ordinary hours.”

“Growing corn, which from a biological perspective had always been a process of capturing sunlight to turn into food, has in no small measure become a process of converting fossil fuels into

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.”

“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food,
and food is what you want to eat.”

“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”

“Immersed this spring in research for this chapter, I was sorely tempted to plant one of the hybrid cannabis seeds I’d seen for sale in Amsterdam. I immediately thought better of it,
however. So I planted lots of opium poppies instead. I hasten to add that I’ve no plans to do anything with my poppies except admire them – first their fleeting tissue-paper blooms, then
their swelling blue-green seedpods, fat with milky alkaloid.”

“It has become much harder, in the past century, to tell where the garden leaves off and pure nature begins.”

“Johnny Appleseed was revered . . he was . . . an evangelist.”

“Lawns are a form of television.”

“Shake the hand that feeds you.”

“So that’s us: processed corn, walking.”

“The entire history of baby formula has been the history of one overlooked nutrient after another…and still to this day babies fed on the most “nutritionally complete” formula fail to do as
well as babies fed human milk. Even more than margarine, formula stands as the ultimate test product of nutritionism and a fair index of its hubris.”

“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.”

“The history of modern nutritionism has been a history of macronutrients at war: protein against carbs; carbs against proteins, and then fats; fats against carbs.”

“The human animal is adapted to, and apparently can thrive on, an extraordinary range of different diets, but the Western diet, however you define it, does not seem to be one of them.”

“The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture.”

“The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant,
think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world.”

“There are some forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn. This goes for the nonfood items as well: Everything from the
toothpaste and cosmetics to the disposable diapers, trash bags, cleansers, charcoal briquettes, matches, and batteries, right down to the shine on the cover of the magazine that catches your
eye by the checkout: corn.”

“To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink in the supermarket is to have some corn with your corn. Since the 1980s virtually all the sodas and most of the fruit drinks
sold in the supermarket have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.”

“Unlike any other form of thought, daydreaming is its own reward.”