Michael Pollan is an author, activist, journalist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. His research focuses mainly on the industrial food chain. He emphasizes how cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health, build communities, help fix our broken food system, and perhaps most importantly, break our growing dependence on corporations. Michael Pollan is a food activist and you can find out more about him and his work by clicking here.
In the video below he illustrates how McDonald’s insists on using Russet Burbank Potatoes, a potato in America that is unusually difficult to grow and requires a long time to do so. They further insist that their potatoes have no blemishes at all, which is difficult to achieve because these potatoes commonly suffer from what is referred to as Net Necrosis, which causes unwanted spots and lines on the potatoes. If the potatoes for sale have these markings, McDonald’s won’t buy them, and the only way to eliminate this problem is through the use of a pesticide called methamidophos (Monitor) “that is so toxic that the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside and into their fields for five days after they spray.”
When McDonald’s is ready to harvest their potatoes, they have to put them in giant atmospheric-controlled sheds the size of football stadiums, because they are inedible. They “have to off gas all the chemicals in them,” which takes six weeks.
I’ll let you watch the video for more information. You should have a hard time eating McDonald’s after this, but that’s not a bad thing.
Cancer rates continue to rise, and study after study continues to surface every year showing how pesticides, GMOs, and a number of other things that surround us on a daily basis are indeed harmful to human health. It’s time for us to wake up and fully acknowledge these dangers, it’s time to make better choices in our lives, it’s time to start recognizing the connections between our environment and our health.
Fast foods share more in common with drugs than we’d like to think; they can be extremely addicting and extremely harmful. They should not exist, period, and this video just adds to the long, continually growing list of why.