Author Michael Pollan to Speak at Tufts on "In Defense of Food: The Omnivore's Solution"

March 17, 2009

For More Information or to Request a Photo from this News Release, Contact:

Public Relations


MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. -- Author and journalist Michael Pollan has accused the food industry of undermining real food and "nutritionism" of unnecessarily complicating the lives of Americans. On March 24, Pollan will speak at Tufts University, home to the nation's only graduate and professional nutrition school, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, founded in 1981.

Such challenges are exactly what Richard E. Snyder had in mind when he established the President's Lecture Series at Tufts. The series -- endowed by Snyder, who is the former chairman and CEO of Simon and Schuster and a 1955 Tufts graduate -- is designed to bring to Tufts speakers who challenge conventional wisdom in their professional work.
Pollan will be the 10th speaker in the Richard E. Snyder President's Lecture Series on March 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Cohen Auditorium, Aidekman Arts Center, on Tufts University's Medford/Somerville campus. He will discuss "In Defense of Food: The Omnivore's Solution." Members of the news media who would like to attend should contact Suzanne Miller at 617-627-4703 for a reserved seat.
In his talk, Pollan will explore what the industrialization of food and agriculture has meant for our health and happiness as eaters, and he will look at the growing national movement to renovate the food system. According to Pollan, real food -- the kind of food great-grandmothers would recognize as food -- is being undermined by science on one side and the food industry on the other, both of which want people to focus on nutrients, good and bad, rather than actual plants, animals and fungi.
Pollan has said that the rise of "nutritionism" has vastly complicated the lives of American eaters without doing anything for their health, except possibly making it worse. Pollan thinks that the solution to obesity, type II diabetes and a host of other chronic diseases is to put the focus back on foods and food chains. Personal health, he says, cannot be divorced from the health of the soil, plants, and animals that make up the food chains in which humans take part.
Pollan is the author of "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals," which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Pollan is also a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and is the Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. For photos and a complete bio, visit


About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.