A Closer Look at Pollan’s Nutrient Cycle Claims

June 16, 2010

Adam Merberg digs deeper into the objections I raised yesterday regarding Pollan’s “[farm animals] complete the nutrient cycle” claim.

You might think that Merberg and I are kvetching about minutia, but that’s anything but the case. In his brand-new FAQ, Pollan has advanced his nutrient cycle theory (while presenting it as an established fact) as the one reason why people ought to consume animal products—according to him, anything else is not “a truly sustainable agriculture.”

If he’s wrong on this point, then the only argument he’s got left for consuming animals products is something along the lines of I like how animals taste. I’d love to see how that flies with the general public when stated explicitly.

I doubt that this nutrient cycle issue is going to go away without getting properly settled. Pollan owes it to his millions of readers to look more closely at this claim, and either withdraw it or offer up the best support he’s got.

If Pollan doesn’t quickly get on top of this, he’s taking the risk that over time his reputation as a credible thinker is going to take a major hit, and that would serve nobody’s interests—except those of our common enemy: animal agribusiness. Link.

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