Michael Pollan On McDonald’s French Fries
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[Michael Pollan On McDonald’s French Fries]
[Michael Pollan:] Source: LYBIO.net
Fast food companies and other food processes drive down the cost of food relentlessly and force economies of scale, an efficiencies or what are called efficiencies on farming. And I’ll just give you one example.
If you go to McDonald’s, anywhere in the world you will find French fries or chips as you call them. And you will find that they are always made from the same potato, the Russet Burbank potato.
This is a potato from America, that’s unusually long and difficult to grow. But that’s what they want because when you’re making – when you’re at McDonald’s you like those red boxes with a little bouquet of very long chips. It looks really good and so they insist that all their potatoes be Russet Burbank’s and they further insists that they have no blemishes at all.
It’s a very common defect of Russet Burbank potatoes call net necrosis. And you’ve seen potatoes with brown lines sometimes or spots that comes through it.
Well, McDonald’s won’t buy them, if your potatoes have that. And the only way to eliminate that is to eliminate an aphid and the only way to do that is with a pesticide call Monitor that is so toxic that the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside into their field for five days after they spray.
[Michael Pollan:] Source: LYBIO.net
And then when they harvest their potatoes they have to put them in this atmosphere controlled sheds the size of a football stadium because they are not edible for six weeks. They have to off-gas all the chemicals in them.
So you see the desire for a certain kind of chip leads to a certain kind of agriculture. But the other thing on the health side, when I started learning about nutrition, about which by the way, much less is known than you might think.
That the scientific understanding of nutrition is still very primitive. But I learn that what mattered most about one’s health was not necessarily the nutrients, good or bad that you’re consuming or staying away from, or even the calorie counts. But what predicted a healthy diet more than anything else is the fact that it was being cooked by a human being and not a corporation.
Corporations cook very differently than people do.
They use vast amounts of salt, fat and sugar, much more than you would ever use in your own cooking. And the reason they do that is those three incredibly attractive and incredibly cheap ingredients. And when they’re layered properly as in a chip or you know, various pastries and forms of junk food, they’re incredibly addictive. And in fact, people in the industry, they don’t talk about addiction in the food industry even though they traffic in addiction, they talk about craveability, it’s the same thing. And snackability, that’s another term they use. It’s a lovely word.
Anyway, so I came to see that cooking has a huge bearing on our health. And in fact there’s been a lot of research in America that shows that even poor women who cook have healthier diets than wealthy women who don’t.
So you see the usual class bias and the quality of diet is overtaken by this fact – this key fact, who’s cooking your food?
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Michael Pollan On McDonald’s French Fries. Farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside into their field for five days after they spray. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.