Michael Pollan is a journalist, author, and professor at Harvard University and UC Berkeley. He is also a contributor to the New York Times Magazine. Pollan primarily writes books about food and culture, but he has also written on other topics including ethics, building construction, and psychedelic drugs. He co-starred in the documentary Food, Inc. and has won several awards, including the Washburn Award and the James Beard Leadership Award.
Michael Pollan’s Diet
Michael Pollan’s 7-word eating plan is: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. In longer form, eat real food, as in things that can be found in nature, not things that taste like food but have a ridiculously long shelf life. Don’t overeat, and buy the best, freshest food you can afford, preferably plants, and eat high-quality meat sparingly.
- Medium Carb 50% 50%
- Low-Medium Protein 25% 25%
- Medium Fat 40% 40%
The American Paradox
Pollan says Americans suffer from the eating disorder of an obsession with healthy eating, yet we have the worst diet in the world.
Meat In Moderation
Animals raised on artificial diets are not good for us. Eat less meat, and preferably pasture-raised. Meat should be more like a flavoring or special treat.
Munch More Microbes
Gut bacteria are essential to good health. Pollan recommends getting more into your diet every day by eating fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
A Gas Station Is Not A Supermarket
In the US, 20% of food is eaten in the car. Pollan says food should be eaten as a social event. Pay more for quality food and eat less.
Don’t Overfill the Tank
You should not feel stuffed at the end of a meal. Pollan says many cultures have a saying about this, such as the German ‘tie the sack off before it’s full.’
Michael Pollan’s Seven Rules for Eating
1. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
2. Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce
3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket & shop the perimeter
4. Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot (other than honey)
5. Always leave the table a little hungry
6. Enjoy meals with people you love
7. Don’t buy food where you buy your gasoline
What to Eat
Fresh in-season Fruit
What to Avoid
Food with Unpronounceable Ingredients
Gas Station Food
Pollan on the Paleo Diet
‘I don’t think we really understand…well the proportions in the ancient diet…Most people who tell you with great confidence that this is what our ancestors ate—I think they’re kind of blowing smoke.’
Pollan on Good Bacteria
‘Fermented foods provide a lot of compounds that gut microbes like.’
Pollan on the Act of Preparing Food
‘[It’s] one of the most interesting things humans know how to do and have done for a very long time.’
Pollan on Bread
‘You could not survive on wheat flour. But you can survive on bread.’
Michael Pollan’s Fitness Routine
Pollan no doubt engages in natural exercises our great-grandmother would have done, including walking, watering the vegetables in the garden, and then chopping up those vegetables for dinner. He also does a lot of research related to his books, including hunting, building fires for barbecue and digging holes to ferment food in.
Pollan on the Diabetes Industry
‘We’ll know things have changed when doctors have kicked the fast-food franchises out of hospitals.’
Pollan on the Importance of Social Interaction During Meals
‘No, a desk is not a table.’
Pollan on Orthorexia
‘We are people with an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.’
Pollan on Health Care
‘Is it just a coincidence that as the portion of our income spent on food has declined, spending on health care has soared?’
Michael Pollan’s Lifestyle
Pollan’s K.I.S.S Plan
Pollan thinks it’s strange we need so much help deciding what to eat, but he’s working tirelessly to help educate the public on the necessity of eating real food.
There Is Hope
Pollan is encouraged by the explosion of farmers’ markets around the country and the 4000+ school districts that now have farm-to-table programs.
The Need For Change
Pollan says the government needs to develop a food policy to repair a system that has created incalculable damage to our health and our environment. He says if a foreign power had done such damage, we would consider it a threat to our national security.
In Pollan’s newest book, he argues that psychedelic drugs are some of the most misunderstood substances, and that, in a therapeutic and supportive setting, they may offer profound insights into the way the mind works.Rogan is highly intentional with his lifestyle design. He plans his workouts in advance, frequently sets goals, and seeks optimal performance in all areas of life.
Pollan on the American Diet
‘We’re very confused about food…which is weird…What other species needs experts to tell them how to eat?’
Pollan on the American Diet, part II
‘So that’s us: processed corn, walking.’
Pollan on the American Diet Paradox
‘The government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the cost of treating type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.’
Pollan on Eating Real Food
‘You are what you eat eats.’
Pollan on Getting Back to Nature
‘The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.’