Maintenance Phase: Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma"
April 5, 2022 9:30 PM - Subscribe

How a liberal journalist entrenched a libertarian fantasy. Support the show (
posted by bq (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed this takedown very much
posted by bq at 9:31 PM on April 5, 2022

It's an interesting podcast, and I'm curious how it plays out among folks who seem to rather admire Pollan. He seemed to have a level of gravitas bestowed upon him by a whole lotta people on the left. One of the ways I've described political sides in the US is that the left seems to be largely a coalition of fingerwaggers, and there's something about Pollan's writing that seems to whet the fingerwagger appetite.

Kudos to Gordon for pointing out Pollan's disdain for fast food is the food equivalent for "I don't even own a TV".

Once again, I'm reminded that a story, woven well, holds magnitudes more sway than clear and verifiable research and facts, clearly written. Pollan weaves a narrative, that appeals to many impulses among a wide variety of people. If you're a person who doesn't share such impulses, you give him the side eye. But I frustratingly found his advocates take his views as self-evident.

I do have some criticisms. The side rant, for example, about Whole Foods, is based on their take, not Pollan's. The libertarian angle seems a bit strained. Joel Salatin is worth much scrutiny, perhaps a whole podcast himself, but his notoriety seems to come largely after Pollan's book. Curiously, one of the earliest significant criticisms of The Omnivore's Dilemma I came across, was in Reason magazine.

But overall, I quite appreciate this episode.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:55 PM on April 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

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