Confronting Pollan’s Paradoxes

May 24, 2010

I’ve blogged repeatedly about Michael Pollan’s refusal to engage vegetarian and animal welfare concerns in a substantive way. But sadly, as the world’s most influential writer on food politics, Pollan has pretty much gotten a free pass on the topic.

UC Berkeley grad student Adam Merberg has shared my frustration over Pollan, and he’s just started a blog entirely devoted to pointing out Pollan’s evasive positions on certain food-oriented subjects. Merberg’s first blog entry, quoted in its entirety here, does a great job of explaining the blog’s purpose:

As a sustainable and local food activist, I find Michael Pollan to be a singularly frustrating figure.

On the one hand, he raises awareness about issues pertaining to food sustainability and animals, both issues that are important to me, and I very much appreciate that he does this. But sometimes, he’ll write or say something that seems like it hasn’t received proper scrutiny. This blog will an attempt to point out some of these instances.

This is not an anti-Pollan blog. I think that what Michael Pollan does is very valuable. However, I also happen to think that it’s valuable to have somebody pointing out ways his writings could be made more thoughtful and more accurate. I’ve hoped that somebody would do this ever since I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma two years ago. Only now am I confronting the fact that I am somebody and doing it myself.

In his post this morning, Merberg addresses Pollan’s new article in the New York Review of Books, a piece I blogged about over the weekend. Link.

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