An Agenda for Fixing the Food System


Photo of Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the
places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs,
and architecture.

Pollan is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. His
previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named
one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It
also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James
Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle
Award. Pollan’s previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World,
was also a New York Times bestseller, received the Borders Original Voices Award for
the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the
American Booksellers Association and He is also the author of A Place of
My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).

A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has
received numerous awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in
2003; the John Burroughs prize (for the best natural history essay in 1997); the QPB New
Vision Award (for his first book, Second Nature); the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global
Award for Environmental Journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; and
the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal
agriculture. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American
Essays (the 1990 and 2003 editions), Best American Science Writing (2004), and the
Norton Book of Nature Writing. In addition to publishing regularly in the New York
Times Magazine, his articles have appeared in Harper’s (where he served for many years
as executive editor), Mother Jones, Gourmet, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gardens
Illustrated, and House & Garden.

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, and gardening.

Pollan, who was born in 1955, grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Bennington
College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, from which he received a Master’s
in English. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their
son, Isaac. His website is

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