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That Populist Pollan


States are developing carbon dioxide emissions legislation. Scientists are racing to conserve the world’s species. Reporters are uncovering information about industry’s control over politics. There is certainly no shortage of environmental stories out there—and in recent months, it’s seemed like these stories are making headlines in newspapers, magazines, and blogs all over the country.

Which is why we were surprised that hardly any made the New York Times.com top ten viewed stories in January. Interestingly, Michael Pollan’s magazine piece, “Unhappy Meals,” was the only one. In it, he discusses what people eat and how our diets have changed over time: 

The vast monocultures that now feed us require tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep from collapsing. Diversifying those fields will mean fewer chemicals, healthier soils, healthier plants and animals and, in turn, healthier people. It’s all connected, which is another way of saying that your health isn’t bordered by your body and that what’s good for the soil is probably good for you, too.

We suspect that Pollan’s piece made it to the coveted top spot on the list because of its popular appeal: it’s interesting to a general audience, not just eco-wonks (not that we know any of those).