Stephanie W's Reviews > The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
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's review
Mar 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: food, nonfiction
Read from March 28 to 31, 2011

Although this could be considered MIchael Pollan's least accessible book (how many of us are gardeners?), Botany of Desire was an enjoyable read. Pollan looks at the history of 4 plans and how they have tamed humanity to their whims and desires. The apple has been cultivated for our desire for sweetness, the tulip for beauty, marijuana for intoxication and the potato plays into our desire for control.

The chapters on marijuana and the potato were by far the most intriguing, probably due to the nature of their histories. Marijuana follows it's contentious past and present, and the potato chapter looks at the development of GMOs by Monsanto. The chapter on the tulip was the weakest chapter (because really, who gives a shit about tulips).

In general, Pollan writes a very strong book that gives a strong opinion towards agricultural diversity. It may not be as easy a read as Omnivores Dilema, but it is still accessible in Pollan's true style.
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