Tag Archives | Michael Pollan

The Trip Treatment (Psychedelics Are Back)

It’s no longer new news that hallucinogenic or “psychedelic” drugs are once again being clinically tested to treat a number of human ailments. Not every article about this is written by the wonderful Michael Pollan, however. His essay for the New Yorker is a long read and highly informative:

psychedelic-boom

On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for a cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the Times that would change his death. His diagnosis had come three years earlier, shortly after his wife, Lisa, noticed that the whites of his eyes had turned yellow. By 2010, the cancer had spread to Patrick’s lungs and he was buckling under the weight of a debilitating chemotherapy regimen and the growing fear that he might not survive. The article, headlined “HALLUCINOGENS HAVE DOCTORS TUNING IN AGAIN,” mentioned clinical trials at several universities, including N.Y.U., in which psilocybin—the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms—was being administered to cancer patients in an effort to relieve their anxiety and “existential distress.” One of the researchers was quoted as saying that, under the influence of the hallucinogen, “individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states .

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Michael Pollan and the Intelligent Life of Plants

plant radionicsRemember the 1970s sensation The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird? Or Duncan Laurie’s radionics experiments with plants featured in our old TV series?

Fast forward to the present and food’s Renaissance Man, Michael Pollan takes another look at intelligent plants for The New Yorker. In this excerpt he describes what happened after the initial sensation of the Tomkins and Bird book and ex-CIA agent Cleve Backster’s polygraph experiments:

… In the ensuing years, several legitimate plant scientists tried to reproduce the “Backster effect” without success. Much of the science in “The Secret Life of Plants” has been discredited. But the book had made its mark on the culture. Americans began talking to their plants and playing Mozart for them, and no doubt many still do. This might seem harmless enough; there will probably always be a strain of romanticism running through our thinking about plants.

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Could McDonald’s Replace Beef Burgers With Seitan? Would Anyone Notice?

Big MacNick Aster writes on triplepundit:

I sometimes like to write harebrained posts postulating some kind of zany idea. So here’s today’s:

I ate at an airport McDonald’s the other day for the first time in ages. It was at once delicious and disturbing. I looked at the beef. Was it really beef? I mean, seriously, it was definitely some kind of beef-flavored-matter, and the advertisement did say 100% beef. But as I walked off with that greasy post-McDonald’s flavor (that lasts for hours) in the mouth, I got to thinking: that patty was almost no different than the wheat or soy-based stuff used to make vegan food (seitan and so on).

I walked away 100% convinced that McDonald’s could replace all its beef with beef-flavored seitan and NO ONE would notice the difference. McDonald’s would save a fortune, health would be improved, and the carbon and resource footprint of McDonald’s would be massively slashed.

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Michael Pollan on Food Rules: An Eaters Manual on Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman: Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food, discusses the link between healthcare and diet, the dangers of processed foods, the power of the meat industry lobby, the nutritional-industrial complex, the impact industrial agriculture has on global warming, and his sixty-four rules for eating. The markets are full of what I call edible food-like substances that you have to avoid, says Michael Pollan. So a lot of the rules are to help you, you know, navigate that now very treacherous landscape of the American supermarket. Today we air an excerpt of the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc. and then spend the rest of the show with Michael Pollan.
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