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Michael Pollan - book author

Michael Pollan is an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Michael Pollan is the author of books: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education, A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder, Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World, Pollan on Food Boxed Set

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01
What should we have for dinner? For omnivore's like ourselves, this simple question has always posed a dilemma: When you can eat just about anything nature (or the supermarket) has to offer, deciding what you should eat will inevitably stir anxiety, especially when some of the foods on offer might shorten your life. Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. The omnivore's dilemma has returned with a vengeance, as the cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet confronts us with a bewildering and treacherous food landscape. What's at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children's health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth.

The Omnivore's Dilemma is a groundbreaking book in which one of America's most fascinating, original, and elegant writers turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. The question has confronted us since man discovered fire, but, according to Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Botany of Desire, how we answer it today, ath the dawn of the twenty-first century, may well determine our very survival as a species. Should we eat a fast-food hamburger? Something organic> Or perhaps something we hunt, gather or grow ourselves?

To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us--industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves--from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating. His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance.

The surprising answers Pollan offers to the simple question posed by this book have profound political, economic, psychological, and even mortal implications for all of us. Ultimately, this is a book as much about visionary solutions as it is about problems, and Pollan contends that, when it comes to food, doing the right thing often turns out to be the tastiest thing an eater can do. Beautifully written and thrillingly argued, The Omnivore's Dilemma promises to change the way we think about the politics and pleasure of eating. For anyone who reads it, dinner will never again look, or taste, quite the same.
--jacket
02
Michael Pollan's last book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
03
Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
04
A DEFINITIVE COMPENDIUM OF FOOD WISDOM

Eating doesn't have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with the clarity, concision and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. It's an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, "What should I eat?"
05
Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? One of America's most admired writers takes us on a mind-altering journey to the frontiers of human consciousness

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.
06
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements - fire, water, air, and earth - to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan's effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse-trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius "fermentos" (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The listener learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume huge quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
07
This is an account of one man's experience in his garden. The book invites an exploration of unexamined feelings about nature and the place of society in the landscape, and what gardening has to teach about the troubled borders between nature and culture.
08
A room of one's own: is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd assumed a habitable shape?

When writer Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was an award-winning treatise on the borders between nature and contemporary life, the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. Now Pollan turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands.

Invoking the titans of architecture, literature and philosophy, from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of "houseness" itself. From the spark of an idea to the search for a perfect site to the raising of a ridgepole, Pollan revels in the infinitely detailed, complex process of creating a finished structure. At once superbly written, informative and enormously entertaining, A Place of My Own is for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape--and how we might shape them ourselves.

A Place of My Own recounts his two-and-a-half-year journey of discovery in an absorbing narrative that deftly weaves the day-to-day work of design and building--from siting to blueprint, from the pouring of foundations to finish carpentry--with reflections on everything form the power of place to shape our lives to the question of what constitutes "real work" in a technological society.

A book about craft that is itself beautifully crafted, linking the world of the body and material things with the realm of mind, heart, and spirit, A Place of My Own has received extraordinary praise.
09
Acclaimed author and journalist Michael Pollan - whose number-one New York Times best sellers include The Omnivore’s Dilemma and How to Change Your Mind - offers his latest, provocative look into the profound ways what we eat affects how we live. In Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World, Pollan calls caffeine “the most-used drug in the world” - one we give our children in the addictive form of soda, and consume ourselves in multiple daily doses of a cup of tea or coffee. By one estimate, more than 150 million adult Americans drink coffee daily. He takes us on a journey through the history of the drug - first discovered in a small part of East Africa, and within a century and an addiction affecting most of the human species.

Caffeine, it turns out, has changed the course of human history: Pollan’s reporting reveals how caffeine has won and lost wars, changed politics, and dominated economies; he asserts, with the support of voluminous research, that the Industrial Revolution would have been impossible without it. The science behind our caffeine addiction forms the fascinating backdrop to this definitive look at an insidious drug that hides in plain sight.

With his wide-ranging talents to entertain, inform and perform, Michael Pollan’s Caffeine is essential listening in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.
10
The three groundbreaking books from our most trusted guide to food, now brought together for the first time

In a few short years, Michael Pollan has completely transformed America’s understanding of eating. Now, Pollan on Food collects the New York Times–bestselling author’s three masterworks into one memorable package. First, the groundbreaking book that started it all, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which Pollan turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. Next, with In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) idea that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Finally, in Cooked, Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen; showing the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Pollan on Food is the perfect answer for those looking to unravel the secret to good and healthy eating.