My Hero: Michael Pollan

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My Hero: Michael Pollan

I’d like to introduce you to my hero of the nutrition world.

For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of five New York Times bestsellers: Cooked (2013); Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). ( I have read them all...I love this guy and the way he thinks.) One of my favorite Pollan excerpts, from his book, Cooked:

“I learned that in fact science knows a lot less about nutrition than you would expect—that in fact nutrition science is, to put it charitably, a very young science. It’s still trying to figure out exactly what happens in your body when you sip a soda, or what is going on deep in the soul of a carrot to make it so good for you, or why in the world you have so many neurons—brain cells!—in your stomach, of all places. It’s a fascinating subject, and someday the field may produce definitive answers to the nutritional questions that concern us, but—as nutritionists themselves will tell you—they’re not there yet. Not even close. Nutrition science, which after all only got started less than two hundred years ago, is today approximately where surgery was in the year 1650—very promising, and very interesting to watch, but are you ready to let them operate on you? I think I’ll wait awhile.”

Isn’t that awesome?

He had a four-part docu-series on Netflix in February 2016 based on his book, Cooked. The series featured Pollan in his Berkeley, CA home kitchen enticing viewers to “reclaim lost traditions and restore balance in their lives.” Each episode focused on a different natural element and its relationship to both ancient and modern cooking methods: fire, water, air and earth. The series explored these methods of cooking and their evolutionary and cultural impacts on human kind. Pollan shared this about his series, “Surrounded as we are by fast food culture and processed foods, cooking our own meals is the single best thing we can do to take charge of our health and well-being.” I hope you feel inspired to download it and watch with your family and friends this year.

Pollan has too many awards to list. Notably, when he publishes a new book, he is usually ushered in as one of the world’s 100 most influential people or top 10 influential people of that year. Humble stuff like that.

Great resources and additional articles are available on his website. I encourage you to explore his website  and ask yourself, “So, what should we cook for dinner?”

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