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OCTOBER 28, 2009   

Now a movie

As you know if you're a regular visitor at this website, I'm a big fan of food writer Michael Pollan. I've read many of his books, and it's no exaggeration to say that they've helped change my life. Most recently it was The Botany of Desire, his mediation on plants, gardens and people. Seemed like a no-brainer that I'd enjoy the PBS special of the same name that I watched tonight.


After two hours I realized that sometimes pictures aren't worth a thousand words. Spending 30 minutes each on the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato was way too much for me. At least an hour too much.

I did get to see a guy biting chunks out of apples, a pleasant couple with a high-tech indoor marijuana garden, a flower warehouse the size of 100 football fields, and colorful Peruvians harvesting colorful potatoes. But all of the colorful footage and talking heads didn't give me a better appreciation of what's in the book.

Pollan himself is only an occasional visitor in the video. He pops up now and again to introduce and/or close out a segment. In these comments you hear some of the poetry in his words—which make the other talking heads sound even more irrelevant.

My advice: skip the video, read the book.

More about Michael Pollan

Eating well: advice from Michael Pollan—August 28, 2008
Guilty pleasures: ramen noodles—November 12, 2008
Michael and me: Eat Food—January 12, 2009

PS: I've included the Amazon info above in case you'd like to buy a book. Anything you buy after clicking an Amazon link on my website generates a 2-5% commission, so by doing so you help support the site. Does this sort of Amazon "ad" annoy you? Let me know in a comment.

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