Ami asked Michael Pollan:
Since I live in Brooklyn, a chunk of each weekend is inevitably spent at a farmers' market. The stands there are usually a mix of organic and non-organic produce, all indistinguishable except for the prices. What is your opinion of the necessity of going organic in this situation? Is the extra price worth it for health, or even for encouraging the farmers to keep growing this way?
Michael Pollan There have been a few questions along these lines: local or organic? I usually opt for local for a few reasons. First, any farm supplying a farmer's market will tend to be highly diversified --you can't succeed with a single crop in the local economy-- which means there will be very little need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, so even if these farms are not certified organic, many of them will be chemical-free. Also, I'm interested in supporting local farmers, not just avoiding chemicals, and in keeping my food dollars circulating in the local economy. Organic is important, without questions, but local supports a great many more things I care about. That said, it's finally a question of your values-- there is no one right answer for everyone.
More Answered Questions
Edan asked Michael Pollan:
I love your work--both the writing you've done about food and the food industry, and your earlier work that covers an array of topics--The Botany of Desire, for instance, is so fun. I wonder if you're sticking to food as a topic for good, or if you have plans to write on a different subject. If it's food all the way, that's great. If there are new topics obsessing you lately, can you reveal what they are?
Lisa Barrangou asked Michael Pollan: