Michael Pollan Quotes About Plant

Browse 25 famous quotes of Michael Pollan about Plant.

"Human cultures vary widely in the plants they use to gratify the desire for a change of mind, but all cultures (save the Eskimo) sanction at least one such plant and, just as invariably, strenuously forbid certain others. Along with the temptation seems to come the taboo." ~ Michael Pollan
"Witches and sorcerers cultivated plants with the power to "cast spells" -- in our vocabulary, "psychoactive" plants. Their potion recipes called for such things as datura, opium poppies, belladona, hashish, fly-agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria), and the skin of toads (which can contain DMT, a powerful hallucinogen). These ingredients would be combined in a hempseed-oil-based "flying ointment" that the witches would then administer vaginally using a special dildo. This was the "broomstick" by which these women were said to travel. (119)" ~ Michael Pollan
"...every new genetically engineered plant is a unique event in nature, bringing its own set of genetic contingencies. This means that the reliability or safety of one genetically modified plant doesn't necessarily guarantee the reliability or safety of the next." ~ Michael Pollan
"Tree planting is always a utopian enterprise, it seems to me, a wager on a future the planter doesn't necessarily expect to witness." ~ Michael Pollan
"The true socialist utopia turns out to be a field of F-1 hybrid plants." ~ Michael Pollan
"Immersed this spring in research for this chapter, I was sorely tempted to plant one of the hybrid cannabis seeds I'd seen for sale in Amsterdam. I immediately thought better of it, however. So I planted lots of opium poppies instead. I hasten to add that I've no plans to do anything with my poppies except admire them - first their fleeting tissue-paper blooms, then their swelling blue-green seedpods, fat with milky alkaloid. (Unless, of course, simply walking among the poppies is enough to have an effect, as it was for Dorothy in Oz.)" ~ Michael Pollan
"Handling these plants and animals, taking back the production and the preparation of even just some part of our food, has the salutary effect of making visible again many of the lines of connection that the supermarket and the "home-meal replacement" have succeeded in obscuring. yet of course never actually eliminated. To do so is to take back a measure of responsibility, too, to become, at the very least, a little less glib in one's pronouncements." ~ Michael Pollan
"Every new step in the direction of simplification – toward monoculture, say, ore genetically identical plants – leads to unimaginable new complexities.(intended as challenges)" ~ Michael Pollan
"To grow the plants and animals that made up my meal, no pesticides found their way into any farmworker's bloodstream, no nitrogen runoff or growth hormones seeped into the watershed, no soils were poisoned, no antibiotics were squandered, no subsidy checks were written. If the high price of my all-organic meal is weighed against the comparatively low price it exacted from the larger world, as it should be, it begins to look, at least in karmic terms, like a real bargain." ~ Michael Pollan
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." ~ Michael Pollan
"Another thing cooking is, or can be, is a way to honor the things we're eating, the animals and plants and fungi that have been sacrificed to gratify our needs and desires, as well as the places and the people that produced them. Cooks have their ways of saying grace too... Cooking something thoughtfully is a way to celebrate both that species and our relation to it." ~ Michael Pollan
"The shared meal is no small thing. It is a foundation of family life, the place where our children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civilization: sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending. What have been called the "cultural contradictions of capitalism"—its tendency to undermine the stabilizing social forms it depends on—are on vivid display today at the modern American dinner table, along with all the brightly colored packages that the food industry has managed to plant there." ~ Michael Pollan
"...-compost is trucked in; some crops also receive fish emulsion along with their water and a side dressing of pelleted chicken manure. Over the winter a cover crop of legumes is planted to build up nitrogen in the soil." ~ Michael Pollan
"Wrangham cites several studies indicating that in fact humans don't do well on raw food: they can't maintain their body weight, and half of the women on a raw-food regimen stop menstruating. Devotees of raw food rely heavily on juicers and blenders, because otherwise they would have to spend as much time chewing as the chimps do. It is difficult, if not impossible, to extract sufficient energy from unprocessed plant matter to power a body with such a big, hungry brain." ~ Michael Pollan
"Plants are nature's alchemists, expert at transforming water, soil and sunlight into an array of precious substances, many of them beyond the ability of human beings to conceive, much less manufacture." ~ Michael Pollan
"The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world." ~ Michael Pollan
"How did these organs of plant sex manage to get themselves cross-wired with human ideas of value and status and Eros? And what might our ancient attraction for flowers have to teach us about the deeper mysteries of beauty - what one poet has called "this grace wholly gratuitous"? Is that what it is? Or does beauty have a purpose? (64)" ~ Michael Pollan
"Curiously, growing Papaver somniferum in America is legal—unless, that is, it is done in the knowledge that you are growing a drug, when, rather magically, the exact same physical act becomes the felony of "manufacturing a controlled substance." Evidently the Old Testament and the criminal code both make a connection between forbidden plants and knowledge." ~ Michael Pollan
"Originally, the atoms of carbon from which we're made were floating in the air, part of a carbon dioxide molecule. The only way to recruit these carbon atoms for the molecules necessary to support life—the carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, and lipids—is by means of photosynthesis. Using sunlight as a catalyst the green cells of plants combine carbon atoms taken from the air with water and elements drawn from the soil to form the simple organic compounds that stand at the base of every food chain. It is more than a figure of speech to say that plants create life out of thin air." ~ Michael Pollan
"If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't." ~ Michael Pollan
"I mean, we're really making a quantum change in our relationship to the plant world with genetic modification." ~ Michael Pollan
"Darwin called such a process artificial, as opposed to natural, selection, but from the flower's point of view, this is a distinction without a difference: individual plants in which a trait desired by either bees or Turks occurred wound up with more offspring." ~ Michael Pollan
"Anthropocentric as [the gardener] may be, he recognizes that he is dependent for his health and survival on many other forms of life, so he is careful to take their interests into account in whatever he does. He is in fact a wilderness advocate of a certain kind. It is when he respects and nurtures the wilderness of his soil and his plants that his garden seems to flourish most. Wildness, he has found, resides not only out there, but right here: in his soil, in his plants, even in himself...But wildness is more a quality than a place, and though humans can't manufacture it, they can nourish and husband it...The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery." ~ Michael Pollan
"When we use these words and we talk about plants having a strategy to do this or wanting this or desiring this, we're being metaphorical obviously. I mean, plants do not have consciousness. But, this is a fault of our own vocabulary. We don't have a very good vocabulary to describe what others species do to us, because we think we're the only species that really does anything." ~ Michael Pollan
"In the wild a plant and its pests are continually coevolving, in a dance of resistance and conquest that can have no ultimate victor. But coevolution ceases in an orchard of grafted trees, since they are genetically identical from generation to generation. The problem very simply is that the apple trees no longer reproduce sexually, as they do when they're grown from seed, and sex is nature's way of creating fresh genetic combinations. At the same time the viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects keep very much at it, reproducing sexually and continuing to evolve until eventually they hit on the precise genetic combination that allows them to overcome whatever resistance the apples may have once possessed. Suddenly total victory is in the pests' sight—unless, that is, people come to the tree's rescue, wielding the tools of modern chemistry." ~ Michael Pollan
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