Michael Pollan: Eaters’ Manifesto

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, explains his "Eaters’ Manifesto" in his new book, In Defense of Food. He says we should pay more for better-quality food…and then eat less of that food.

Event: Michael Pollan will be speaking and signing books
Wednesday, January 9 at 7 pm
Upper West Side Barnes & Noble
2289 Broadway (at 82nd Street)

Weigh in: Did The Omnivore's Dilemma change the way that you eat?


Michael Pollan

Comments [26]

Andrea Cayea from Long Island NY

The missing information from Mr. Pollan's message is our blood types and how they effect everything from our digestion to our hormones.
Mr Pollan has brought a wonderful message to the world, I just wish he would have a long talk with Dr. D'Adamo.

Jan. 05 2010 12:14 PM
Joyce from Manhattan

I have always thought that preservatives that give a longer shelf
life would also serve to make the food stay in my body longer. Do you
know of any research on this idea?
(Great show. I am a big Michael Pollan fan.)

Jan. 29 2008 05:25 PM
fiona from London, England

a really cool programme. I learnt a lot. I love his wry sense of humour too. Love the bit about how good the US is as devising a diet that is killing you. Illuminating.

Jan. 10 2008 05:58 PM
chestine from NY

I can't wait for the sound so I can listen to this show but i recommend that everybody read "Nutrition and Degenerative Disese" written in 1939 by Weston A Price DDS (speaking of teeth) - what a revelation! (The Weston Price Foundation's website is linked on Michael Pollan's website so I assume (also by the sound of everything I have read by him) this is one of MP's bibles.) Did you know that Australian Aborigines could see animals moving a mile away and that before exposure to white man's foods, tooth decay was rare in several happy and isolated societies Dr Price studied - and they had NO CRIME!!! it is stunning what kind of damage we did to these groups in a generation trading them our worthless white flour for their worthwhile products. no wonder we are referred to by so many as "white devils!"

Jan. 09 2008 01:10 PM
Waldo from Manhattan

What Pollan said about teeth is particularly interesting -- my grandfather was born in what is now Slovakia around 1885 (came to US in 1903). Never went to a dentist until ~1960 when my uncle insisted. Grandpa, who pulled out corks with his teeth, cracked walnuts with his teeth, had NO cavities and also had healthy gums. The dentist sent a bill for $10. My grandfather "had a fit" because the dentist had done nothing but look at his teeth and so refused to pay. The dentist reduced the charge to $5, my grandfather was firm. Finally my uncle secretly paid the bill on the condition that the dentist keep it a secret.

Jan. 09 2008 12:58 PM
Tami from New Jersey

You referred to the Eastern European Jewish diet and wondered about its healthfulness. The foods that you refer to were, for the most parts, celebratory foods eaten on Sabbath and holidays if one could afford it. For the most part, Eastern European Jews were desperately poor and probably did not indulge in chicken schmaltz all that often simply because they couldn't afford to cook chicken very frequently.

Jan. 09 2008 12:47 PM
Maud Kelly from Brooklyn, NY

I'd appreciate it if commentators like Pollan who are concerned with the politics of food and its effect on the world would talk about the labor issues, not just the environmental ones. The book NOBODIES by John Bowe, which started as a New Yorker article about enslaved Mexican immigrant workers in Florida who pick tomatoes and oranges for Tropicana, Taco Bell, etc., details shocking information about this issue...

Jan. 09 2008 12:38 PM
Norman from New York

Shouldn't we be eating more insects?

Jan. 09 2008 12:36 PM
j from nyc

part of the problem is overeating - we do NOT need to be FULL, atleast not on a constant basis. Our stomaches are muscles that need to rest inbetween, which means getting hungry enough to have a healthy appetite and to be ready to eat.
Animals that hunt are hungry first, and that initial hunger [I think] raises adrenaline levels i.e. energy level, which allows for the hunt. Same for us. TGIFridays recently recognized this when they started serving smaller portions.

And could he PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a book on food allergies, the food industry and food labeling. please?

Jan. 09 2008 12:31 PM
Eli Katz from Brooklyn, NY

With all due respect, Mr. Pollan has written some interesting and useful books, and indeed eating healthful un-denatured food is the key in proper human nutrition, but his statement that isolating nutrients as the Fish oil or the Beta Carotene just doesn't work in human body is simply wrong. There are plethora of clinical case studies and my own professional experience as a nutritionist that there are immense benefits of food supplementation. Especially taking in consideration our soil that has been denatured for many years, environmental toxicity that is unavoidable in big cities and beyond. The idea of getting all of the nutrients needed to combat all that successfully is mostly romantic and does disservice especially to people with chronic illnesses.

Jan. 09 2008 12:31 PM
eric from jersey city

all pollan's assertions sound sound :-) except perhaps that his criticism of science seems overly broad. one has to ask, how does he know?

his criticism of some types of scientific studies seem to be based on other types of scientic studies (epidemilogical reserach).

epidemilogical studies are also prone to problems of their own, specifically isolating nutritional factors from other factors that vary between populations (culture, life style, environmental hazards, etc).

Jan. 09 2008 12:29 PM
Maria Capolongo from Brooklyn

I have a close friend who has a VERY limited pallete and finds most food disgusting(many fruits/vegetables). he supplements almost everything and has no known health problems at 36.???What evidence does Mr. Pollan have that supplements don't work?

Jan. 09 2008 12:28 PM
Justin from Brooklyn

I love "omnivore's dilemma" and it definitely changed the way I eat and the way I look at our culture of consumption.

One interesting question comes to mind regard Mr. Pollan and his crusade to change the lens with which we consume. Why does author Pollan still produce and release his books under the same wasteful publishing practices of the past? Releasing books on hardcover first and withholding paperback versions for 14-18 months is a fuel wasting, traditional profit driven model that I would think that Mr. Pollan would fight against.

Think and change your behavior. Not just with your words but with your actions.

Jan. 09 2008 12:28 PM
tim from brooklyn

W/r/t teeth, I just found out that my 3 year old niece has an unusually high number of cavities. Is it reasonable to assume that part of the reason is that the water she drinks comes from bottles as opposed to flouridated tap water?

Jan. 09 2008 12:28 PM
Ruby from Bklyn

Isn't it impossible to generalize what all humans
should eat?

Isn't it different for different people?

(e.g. I can't eat fish because it's repulsive to me; or people w/allergies to certain food.)

Jan. 09 2008 12:26 PM
Tami from New Jersey

No offense - but are you mad? Will you tell me that Europeans of the middle ages (who were eating their natural diet - certainly not highly processed foods) had better teeth and health than we do? They didn't have teeth by the time they were 40 and were usually dead too!

Jan. 09 2008 12:25 PM
Rory Bernstein from Brooklyn, NY

Please get Mr. Pollan to give some sample recipe's before the segment ends. An "ideal" dinner.

Jan. 09 2008 12:25 PM
Raconteuse from Brooklyn Heights

I was at your lecture at the 92nd Street Y with Dan Barber last night and only after leaving did I think of a question I could have asked: As a native Brazilian from the extreme South (pampas), and (along with Argentina and Uruguay) arguably the beef capital of the world, I am wondering why the US cuts its meat 'against the grain' of the muscle tissue--rendering it tougher--rather than with it as in the rest of the world?

Many thanks and keep up the great work!

Jan. 09 2008 12:23 PM
lee weingast from rio de janeiro, brazil

I've noticed that esterified fats (totally hydrogenated) have replaced partially hydrogenated fats in many processed foods on the shelves here in Brazil, perhaps as a reaction to growing public skepticism about partially hydrogenated fats. What are the health implications of these esterified fats?

Jan. 09 2008 12:21 PM
Carol from Pawling

"OD" definitely changed me! I put more effort into buying organic and grass-fed meats, poultry (incl. eggs) and dairy and added more square footage to my vegetable garden. I scan labels to avoid HFCS and hydrogenated oils. Basically I try hard not to eat anything I can't pronounce.

These are not easy changes. And often I feel that the small changes we implement can't amount to much in the big picture. But I'm doing my part. And forgive me, but I'm a little inspired by Obama today: Yes we can.

Jan. 09 2008 12:21 PM
Carroll Anne Rayner, MD from westchester

There is a constant stream of scientific evidence validating the common sense of eating fresh fruits,raw or slightly cooked vegetables, and fats from a balanced variety of fish, poultry and meat. The Mediterranean diet and the European approach of smaller portions and a sequence of plates leaves one healthy and generally very, very satisfied.

Jan. 09 2008 12:20 PM
Jack Lewis from Portland, OR

I recently heard him on OPB on science Friday. Someone asked what he eats for dinner, but he didn't get a chance to explain. I'd like to know 2-3 meals he and his family cook for dinner.

When will he release the Michael Pollen cookbook?

I've been loving Michael Pollan's message for a little over a year. He's the topic of most conversations when I sit down to eat with new friends.

Jan. 09 2008 12:18 PM
Sue from North Salem, NY

Michael, I read Omnivore's Dilemma over the holidays and it changed me. Just wanted to say thank you for such a profound eye-opening book.

Jan. 09 2008 12:16 PM
Nora from Westchester

Has anyone experienced the secret yen for "food makeover", wanting to change a friend of family member's eating habits? For example, I always think that if I could get my hands on my brothers' kids for a month, just give me a month, I could turn their diet around. They eat CRAP, they're small for their age and they're both in special education for learning disabilities/delays...and it breaks my heart. But I keep quiet.

Jan. 09 2008 12:12 PM
Robin from Garrison NY

I hope it changes the way my friends eat. I say, get the Fage full fat (20%) yogurt. But no. They buy diet yoplait.

Jan. 09 2008 12:07 PM
Deborah Goldberg

I love the leonard Lopate show

Jan. 09 2008 07:58 AM

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