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Michael Pollan quotes (showing 1-30 of 213)

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.”
Michael Pollan
“He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“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. ”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“You are what what you eat eats.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“Don't eat anything incapable of rotting.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“While it is true that many people simply can't afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we've somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans, spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority. p.187”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“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.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“So that's us: processed corn, walking.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots. While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.”
Michael Pollan
“When chickens get to live like chickens, they'll taste like chickens, too.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
tags: food
“What an extraordinary achievement for a civilization: to have developed the one diet that reliably makes its people sick!”
Michael Pollan, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
“But that's the challenge -- to change the system more than it changes you.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Shake the hand that feeds you.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“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”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“... the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“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. ”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't. ”
Michael Pollan
“According to the surgeon general, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing the health care system an estimated $90 billion a year. Three of every five Americans are overweight; one of every five is obese. The disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes has had to be renamed Type II diabetes since it now occurs so frequently in children. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that a child born in 2000 has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes. (An African American child's chances are two in five.) Because of diabetes and all the other health problems that accompany obesity, today's children may turn out to be the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will actually be shorter than that of their parents. The problem is not limited to America: The United Nations reported that in 2000 the number of people suffering from overnutrition--a billion--had officially surpassed the number suffering from malnutrition--800 million.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Eating is an agricultural act,' as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world - and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction. By comparison, the pleasures of eating industrially, which is to say eating in ignorance, are fleeting. Many people today seem erfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world; this book is probably not for them.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“Imagine if we had a food system that actually produced wholesome food. Imagine if it produced that food in a way that restored the land. Imagine if we could eat every meal knowing these few simple things: What it is we’re eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what it really cost. If that was the reality, then every meal would have the potential to be a perfect meal. We would not need to go hunting for our connection to our food and the web of life that produces it. We would no longer need any reminding that we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and that what we’re eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world. I don’t want to have to forage every meal. Most people don’t want to learn to garden or hunt. But we can change the way we make and get our food so that it becomes food again—something that feeds our bodies and our souls. Imagine it: Every meal would connect us to the joy of living and the wonder of nature. Every meal would be like saying grace.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
tags: food
“Much of our food system depends on our not knowing much about it, beyond the price disclosed by the checkout scanner; cheapness and ignorance are mutually reinforcing. And it's a short way from not knowing who's at the other end of your food chain to not caring–to the carelessness of both producers and consumers that characterizes our economy today. Of course, the global economy couldn't very well function without this wall of ignorance and the indifference it breeds. This is why the American food industry and its international counterparts fight to keep their products from telling even the simplest stories–"dolphin safe," "humanely slaughtered," etc.–about how they were produced. The more knowledge people have about the way their food is produced, the more likely it is that their values–and not just "value"–will inform their purchasing decisions.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“This, for many people, is what's most offensive about hunting—to some, disgusting: that it encourages, or allows, us not only to kill but to take a certain pleasure in killing”
Michael Pollan
“Eating's not a bad way to get to know a place.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
“A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space -- a place not just set apart but reverberant -- and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
“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.”
Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World
“Rule No.37 The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.”
Michael Pollan

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