Lecture begins at 30:00.
In this course introduction, Professor Pollan discusses the social, economic, and political changes that drove the rise of industrial agriculture in the United States, and reviews some of the challenges industrialization of farming and eating have brought to the food system, our health, and the environment.
For the past 25 years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author, most recently, of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, the latest of his five New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006); and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the James Beard Award. A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987, his articles have also appeared in Harper’s Magazine (where he served as executive editor from 1984 to 1994), National Geographic, Mother Jones, the Nation, the New York Review of Books, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gourmet, House & Garden, and Gardens Illustrated, among others. In 2009, he appeared in a two-hour PBS special based on The Botany of Desire and in the documentary, Food Inc., which was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, health, and the environment. Pollan was educated at Bennington College, Oxford University, and Columbia University.