Michael Pollan is an author, activist, journalist and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He mainly focuses on the industrial food chain with regards to his research.
He emphasises how cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health, build communities, help fix our broken food system and perhaps most importantly, break our growing dependence on corporations.
In the video below he illustrates how McDonald’s insists on using Russet Burbank Potatoes, a potato in America that is unusually long and difficult to grow. They further insist that their potatoes have no blemishes at all, which is hard because these potatoes commonly suffer from what is referred to as Net Necrosis, which causes unwanted spots and lines on the potatoes.
If they have this, McDonald’s won’t buy them and the only way to eliminate this is through the use of a pesticide called methamidophos (Monitor) “that is so toxic that the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside and into their fields for five days after they spray.”
When McDonald’s is ready to harvest their potatoes, they have to put them in giant atmospheric controlled sheds the size of football stadiums because they are not edible for six weeks. “They have to off gas all the chemicals in them.”
Michael Pollan is a food activist and you can find out more about him and his work by clicking here.