Video: Michael Pollan vs. CEO of Monsanto.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 20, 2008
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Bestselling NY Times’ Slow Food author Michael Pollan, Google [Dr. Larry Brilliant] & Monsanto [Hugh Grant]? And Sufis? Food politics make for strange bedfellows.

What’s so remarkable, in my viewing, of this conversation is that Pollan is skilfully, simultaneously respectful and unblunted. If I were in a debate with Monsanto I’d be on the attack (less respectful) and more shrill (less effective).

Pollan, therefore, represents a sort of Shambhala warrior example of dealing with one’s enemy.

“The only way to kill your enemy is to make him your friend.” If Pollan and Grant don’t go out for (microbrew) beers afterward, at least they openly exchange very, very different ideas regarding very, very different worldviews:

From Michael Pollan: “On Wednesday I participated in a panel discussion with Hugh Grant, the president/CEO of Monsanto, and Sonal Shah, a development expert at It was moderated by Larry Brilliant, of Google-org, and held on the Google Campus. It was just posted on Youtube. As you can see, we only had 30 minutes and barely scratched the surface, but it’s rare that Monsanto engages with its critics, so something you won’t see everyday. “Creating a World That Can Feed Itself”

Let me know what you think. –Michael”\


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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


11 Responses to “Video: Michael Pollan vs. CEO of Monsanto.”

  1. […] to know whether their meat is free-range or sustainably harvested, and hopefully relatively clone, GMO and mercury-free. But beyond that, I don’t get all up in their faces, as (most infamously) […]

  2. […] debated this question often: If Hummer or Monsanto or a company that we knew was blatantly greenwashing wanted to take out an ad in elephant, would […]

  3. […] Michael Pollan is one of my idols—he, along with Alice Waters and a few others have done more for organics and local food in America, and in our globalized economy, that anyone else. How? Through his popular books—and through his eloquent, important writings for the New York Times. Just this morning I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t seen anything from him in awhile—and lo, in the top ten most emailed articles, was this: […]

  4. […] or McCain, which got infamously got Obama’s attention. Apparently, agribusiness (the big bad agricultural corps) was not happy, and Obama quieted […]

  5. […] Victory Gardens and local food (what’s cheaper!?) and organics (which is, simply, food-minus-chemicals—nothing pretentious about that, rather just old-fashioned as-God-intended-it good for you good […]

  6. […] ecofashion shows, talk show, folks like Sister Prejean (of Dead Man Walking) last week and Michael Pollan next month.” And so, over edamame, green tea, unsustainably harvested sushi and tofu we […]

  7. […] no end when I learned from a colleague that we were considering allowing genetically-modified (GMO) Monsanto Round-Up Ready™ sugar beets to be cultivated on our public Open Space, and that there was to be a […]

  8. […] with the Boulder County staff’s claim that utilizing glyphosate (the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) and GMO sugar beets is somehow consistent with the county’s “sustainability framework.” And […]

  9. […] back I got to interview one of my idols (as I mention in the first moments of the interview)—Michael Pollan. Michael, along with Alice Waters and a few thousand farmers and farmers’ markets, has led a […]

  10. Rob Thomas says:

    It amazes me that all these conferences of smart, eco-conscious shakers and moves always have plastic water bottles on every desk!

  11. Hugh says nothing about the financialization and drive of speculation that overtook the commodity crop markets – as if all of these problems are just "naturally" occurring out of nowhere…