Michael Pollan On The Daily Show

Michael Pollan interviewed by Jon Stewart. How can that be anything but perfectly entertaining?

Pollan is promoting his newest book. Yes, you loved him for The Omnivore’s Dilemma. And you probably enjoyed In Defense of Food. His newest book is more like a pamphlet. It’s called Food Rules, and is on sale at Amazon for a mere $5.50. The new book contains 64 food rules which Pollan collected from people around the world. The few I’ve read are simple, funny, and fairly well on-target. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest to see whether they’re all as good.

The segment began with Jon Stewart asking a straightforward question: Name one over-arching rule that summarizes the book.

“This is going to sound weird,” Pollan answered, “but it’s eat food.”

They then go on to discuss the difference between real food and edible food-like substances.

It only gets better from there. Watch the whole 6 minute segment below:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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    • says

      Yeah, I was actually disappointed about how short the segment was, too! He only had about 6 minutes when he was on The Colbert Report last year, so maybe that’s a rule for these comedy shows. One 6 minute segment per guest, or people start tuning out. Too bad, though!

    • says

      Me too. My only inner-warning comes because of how anti-saturated fat Pollan was in his book In Defense of Food. I’d want to read the rest of his “rules” first before passing out the book as a gift, just to make sure there wasn’t anything blatantly WRONG in it.

      I might take issue with how incomplete some of them are, but I can’t honestly complain. For example, one of his rules is “don’t eat any breakfast cereal that turns your milk a different color.” And that’s totally true as far as it goes, but I’d be much more radical and say something like “don’t eat any store bought breakfast cereal at all.” That’s because it’s virtually impossible to find something made from sprouted/soaked whole grains, and we eat far too many grains in the first place.

  1. Julie says

    I thought the interview was good. I wish more information could have been discussed. I think the idea that more government involvement can solve anything is flawed. It seems like every suggestion the government makes on food ie. food pyramid, soy, subsidies… is wrong. I think independent research keeps it honest and government research is more about “who” is doing the research and “what” they want than actual facts.

    • says

      Julie — That’s a good point, too. It’s the law of unintended consequences. Subsidies are a great example of that. Pollan suggests we subsidize different, better things rather than throwing out subsidies altogether. I’m not sure I agree with him. Wouldn’t it be better to have no subsidies and ALL independent research? Food would then reflect it’s real cost, rather than having the cheapest foods also be the ones most likely to harm you (and the enviroment). And research would be much easier to understand.

      • Annie says

        Yes, I think independent research would definitely be most effective at making food’s cost reflect its true value. Interesting thought. At first I liked his comment about changing what is subsidized, but I think you have a really good point.

        Thanks for the video clip.

  2. tina says

    Very good point about health insurance companies actually caring about our health. That’s the best reason I’ve heard for getting the health care bill passed.

  3. Karla B. says

    I missed what Pollan quipped at the end when Stewart said “every time after the show I eat a triple.. quadruple..”. Did anyone get it?

    • says

      He said: “bypass?”

      To which Jon uncontrollably laughed and said, “good one!”

      We never found out what Jon was actually confessing to, though. I bet it would have been equally as funny.

  4. says

    I was tempted by the book this week and caved (for $11! I’m crying that I could have gotten it for half that!) and read it in 45 minutes. Of 64 rules, I only had problems with 3 (maybe 4). Two are about meat/saturated fat, as you expected. The other is “drink your spinach water” in which he recommends using the veggie cooking water in other parts of the meal. He doesn’t realize the oxalic acid in spinach water is toxic, I guess… A fun read nonetheless, and very manageable.
    .-= Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship´s last blog post …My Story: Get Out of the Pool! =-.

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