Michael Pollan In 2006, Published Research Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 8 Subject: Agriculture Type: Research Paper Paper: #92310922 Related Topics: Culinary, Old Man With Enormous Wings, Toothpaste, Marine Biology
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Pollan stresses the need to cook our own food and reassert the historical and cultural importance of food in our lives. Again this strengthens Pollan's rhetoric and continues the line of reasoning he began in Omnivore's Dilemma.

So it's good to be encouraged by Pollan, who eulogises the pleasures of cooking, and to be reminded of some basic truths."When you cook at home, you seldom find yourself reaching for the ethoxylated dyglycerides or high-fructose corn syrup," he says. "The cook in the kitchen preparing a meal from plants and animals has a great many worries, but 'health' is simply not one of them because it is a given."The final advice given by Pollan encapsulates it all: "Don't eat anything your greatgrandmother wouldn't recognise as food." ("Food Really Does Grow" 12)

The rhetoric of his work is demonstratively evident as his lines of reasoning attempt to make consumers more responsible for their own consumption, and overall more healthy in an intellectual and physical sense. One of my favorite passages from the work, that details all the issues of rhetoric, pathos, logos and ethos is the paragraph Pollan dedicates to describing the ethics of buying organic foods from a mass market center, in this case unseasonable asparagus from Argentina:

The ethical implications of buying such a product are almost to numerous and knotty to sort out: There's the expense, there's the prodigious amounts of energy involved, the defiance of seasonality, and the whole question of whether the best soils in South America should be devoted to growing food for affluent and overfed North Americans. And yet you can also make a good argument that my purchase of organic asparagus from Argentina generates foreign exchange for a country desperately in need of it, and supports a level of care for that country's land-farming without pesticides or chemical-fertilizer-it might not otherwise receive. Clearly my bunch of asparagus had delivered me deep into the thicket of trade-offs that global organic marketplace entails. (Pollan 175)

The passage in many ways describes the whole nature of the work. Pollan proposes a question, then a reasonable marketplace answer and then brings the consumer to the process of thought regarding the pathos, logos and ethos of the choices he or she made to reach the point in the consumer chain where he or she stands. It is fantastic.

Mr. Pollan's premise is that the lack of a traditional food culture, combined with a bewildering number of food choices (including 17,000 new products on supermarket shelves each year), contradictory scientific studies and diets galore have caused Americans to be abnormally concerned about what they eat. Obsessed with getting thin while becoming ever fatter, they bounce from one food fad (margarine is good for you) to another (carbs are bad for you).Faced with the same confusion at the supermarket as everyone else (Organic or conventional apples? Local or imported? Wild or farmed fish? Transfats or butter or the "not butter?"), Mr. Pollan concluded that before settling the dinner question he needed answers to two other questions: "What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?" ("Food for Thought; What" B08)

Pollan's use of language and point-of-view are particularly telling of his rhetorical stance as well as good conductors of his message, which is meant to appeal not only to a food


"It is very much in the interest of the food industry to exacerbate our anxieties about what to eat, the better to then assuage them with new products," writes Pollan. "Our bewilderment in the supermarket is no accident. "I considered myself a somewhat savvy shopper until I read this book. I buy food at a local co-op, not at Wal-Mart, though it, too, now stocks organic products. But even in the coop I can't avoid the problems of our industrial food system. The same companies that produce organic foods also sell cigarettes…. "Our food system depends on consumers' not knowing much about it beyond the price disclosed by the check out scanner," he writes. "Cheapness and ignorance are mutually reinforcing."(Dinovella 41)

The work itself when analyzed for both the what and how is staggering as it brings to the reader countless examples of food issues that have a great deal to do with the ethos of both the author and all consumers, as we continue to seek both willfully and without knowledge cheaper and more convenient foods and live on them to our own detriment. What is intrinsically interesting about the work is that with all the ethics Pollan's rhetoric never really become preachy, because he offers his ethical affronts to the food industry and consumer in an amusing and insightful way. Pollan telling the reader in short that he or she really just needs to take a much harder look at the reality of what we put in our mouths is a comical and serious portrayal of the industrialization and urbanization of food and all the concerns it raises. He also does not simply stress that consumers need to buy "organic" seek natural alternatives but even to look very closely at the way that big business draws us in even to the marketing of "better" alternatives. When Pollan introduces the final section of his work, the "hunter-gatherer" experiment he does so in a way that reiterates his point, not that foraging is a rational and practical way in which to live in modern society but that it is a form of play for those who are involved in it and that it should be used to illuminate the manner in which food is obtained and eaten, to challenge the individual to see not only the difficulty with which we once obtained food but that food has sources that are realistically mysterious and unknown. "My wager in undertaking this experiment is that hunting and gathering (or growing) a meal would perforce teach me things about ecology and ethics that I could not get in a supermarket or fast-food chain or even on a farm." (Pollan 280) Pollan's work is fundamentally an introduction to responsible consumerism, he goes out and looks at issues that many of us only hear about with regard to serious advocacy and extreme right or left wing demands, by actually living the experiences of being a blind and then knowledgeable and then responsible consumer. His work is a masterpiece of modern rhetoric because it speaks to an audience that includes all of humanity and though it does not necessarily answer all the concerns that separating food from the consumer presents it really makes one think, a main and profound aspect of the rhetorical response.

Works Cited

Crumbpacker, Bunny, "You Are What You Eat." The Washington Post April 9, 2006; BW09.

Dinovella, Elizabeth. "Think Globally, Eat Locally." The Progressive Nov. 2006: 41.

Flannery, Maura C. "Plants in Production." The American Biology Teacher 70.1 (2008): 51.

"Food for Thought; What We Eat, from Source to Table." The Washington Times 30 July 2006: B08.

"Food Really Does Grow on Trees, You Know." Daily Post (Liverpool, England) 1 Feb. 2008: 12.

"History, Old Favorites in Collection of Food Essays." The Washington Times 10 June 2007: B08.

Leppman, Elizabeth J. Changing Rice Bowl: Economic Development and Diet in China. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Popper, Deborah E. "Traceability: Tracking and…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Crumbpacker, Bunny, "You Are What You Eat." The Washington Post April 9, 2006; BW09.

Dinovella, Elizabeth. "Think Globally, Eat Locally." The Progressive Nov. 2006: 41.

Flannery, Maura C. "Plants in Production." The American Biology Teacher 70.1 (2008): 51.

"Food for Thought; What We Eat, from Source to Table." The Washington Times 30 July 2006: B08.

Cite this Document:

"Michael Pollan In 2006 Published" (2009, May 14) Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

"Michael Pollan In 2006 Published" 14 May 2009. Web.26 October. 2021. <

"Michael Pollan In 2006 Published", 14 May 2009, Accessed.26 October. 2021,

Related Documents
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Words: 967 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Agriculture Paper #: 57384562

Although Pollan condemns conventional agriculture, he also notes that even organically-labeled food is often grown in a manner that is not much better for the environment in terms of its carbon footprint -- the regulations upon what constitutes organic food can be quite lax, and some foods that use some pesticides that are grown locally and sold in farmer's markets might not be technically organic, but leave less of a

Omnivore's Dilemma in 2006, Author and Activist
Words: 564 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Agriculture Paper #: 4101149

Omnivore's Dilemma In 2006, author and activist Michael Pollan published his classic treatise on America's agricultural abandonment, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural history of Four Meals, which critiques the growing disconnect between the food we consume and the processes used to bring it to our plates in evocative and eloquent terms. By posing the seemingly simple question of what mankind should eat, Pollan disassembles the modern meal in methodical fashion,

Advance Composition
Words: 566 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Agriculture Paper #: 83639924

Pastorilism Pollan, M. (2006). The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Penguin Press, New York, NY.2006. This book is written by bestselling author on sustainability issues, Michael Pollan. This published work focuses on asking what is appropriate for eating dinner. Pollan gives a detailed history of the food we consume in Western society and focuses on the processing of meat and other products as a necessary component of this type

Gmfood Biotechnology Is Still Developing
Words: 2766 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Agriculture Paper #: 36825611

Corn pollen had a high mortality rate (44% in 4 days) compared to those fed on and regular corn pollen showing no mortality. [Frontline/Nova] The allergenic potential of the transgenes that are used in GM products is a frightening problem. A noticeable case is that of Pioneer Hi-Bred INC, the international seed company that produced a genetically modified and enriched Soybean using the Brazilian nut gene. Fortunately, before the product

Production of Food Products Has Changed Dramatically
Words: 2941 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Agriculture Paper #: 82456402

production of food products has changed dramatically over the past several years. Technological changes in machinery, increased use of better and more expedient forms of transportation, and improved fertilizers have all contributed to a more efficient food production process. This more efficient process, however, has not come with some requisite problems. The existing system of delivering food products in the United States is a major contributor to the world's global

Assessing the Benefits of Marijuana
Words: 2223 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Health Paper #: 45260245

Introduction The drug, marijuana, is actually not as lethal to human beings as cigarettes or alcohol. Further, it is much less addictive, being generally consumed in far lesser quantities. It is also not strongly linked to accidents, risky sexual conduct, and violence, the way alcohol is. Lastly, one can never lose one’s life to marijuana overdose. While a small share of individuals who consume marijuana do develop addiction, this issue can