Watch This Video and You’ll Never Eat McDonald’s French Fries Again

Watch This Video and You'll Never Eat McDonald's French Fries Again

In this video, Michael Pollan, author of the new book, Cooked, tells a horrifying story about how McDonald’s French fries are made. Skip to 3:10 in the video — you’ll be shocked.

Click to sign the petition — tell McDonald’s No More Toxic Taters!

Key Points in the Video

  • Poor women who cook have healthier diets than wealthy women who don’t cook.
  • In America, rates of home cooking have decreased 50% since the mid-60s.
  • On average in America, we spend 27 minutes cooking per day, and 4 minutes cleaning up (which means it’s probably fast food — who can do dishes and scrub pots and pans in 4 minutes?).
  • To be healthy, eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.


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  1. Gary L Atkinson says

    Show me the facts. Farmers would not use such a toxic pesticide. We don;t use such drastic measures on Roses and Carnations which are not eaten.

        • steve says

          Dont eat the fries, it leaves more for me. If I was eating the fries 3 times a day every day I might be worried. But since I dont, once or twice a week maybe. well Im not worried.

          If I was worried I wouldnt be eating half of the food on our grocrey shelves

          so there

          • Millie says

            If you know that’s it’s bad for you what do you think the consequences are(?)……sickness & medical bills! Eating clean/organic and non GMO is cost effective keeping you out of the doctors office or out of the hospital without those astronomical costs. Not eating cr@p is an actual savings.

            • KCGustav says

              Actually, Millie, just eating a balanced diet will keep you healthy. There is NO scientific evidence against genetically modified crops. Like, at all. Indeed, GM crops are generally engineered to reduce pesticide use. Organic foods are not demonstrably “healthier”–no more vitamins, no fewer toxins. And were we to have to produce our food solely via “organic” (TM) methods, more than half the world would starve to death. Good for their health bills?

              As for the astronomical costs of healthcare…maybe in the US. The rest of us have figured out socialised medicine! But I bet we agree on the benefits of that.

              • Gina says

                It’s disturbing how invested the chemical companies are in the food supply here in the US. You go ahead and tell yourself there’s no evidence against GMOs and eat all the processed products, and CAFO meat that you want. No argument. Real food is for those that care what they eat and it’s not produced by a chemical company, thank you very much.

              • kay says

                actually uninformed information can be very harmful, the csiro tested foods years ago and showed home grown organic food had 100 times the vitamin content more than commercially grown. the world would have plenty of food if we ate less meat and wheat and more tree crops and smaller serves. when treating people with serious illness they all respond favourably to organic unprocessed mindful of what you think and eat. much love and healthy food kay

              • Richard M says

                KCGustav : I do not think that you can use the word “science” and have it end a conversation. It is the equivalent of the ‘race card’ used to assume that a conversation will be ended and victor declared just by mentioning the word. The problem with the scientific process is that it is manipulated by the same human motivations that plague every other human endeavor. As far as GMO’s, I believe the greater scientific concern is the effect on the environment, pesticide resistance, etc.

                As far as the nutritional content of organic v/s non-organic, please… there are literally hundreds of studies, and more importantly dozens of sufficiently peer reviewed studies that show a large difference in nutritional density. But what about common sense? If you take a bucket of sand and plant a tomato plant in it and fertilize with standard petroleum based fertilizer, you sincerely accept that will be just as good nutritionally as a tomato plant grown in healthy soil with compost etc? Most studies show that the greatest difference in organic food is in the levels of micro nutrients, which are typically what most people are deficient in (we get plenty of vitamins c etc).

                I do not know about the other posters here. I do not want to force farmers to change their methods through government intervention just based on my fears. But I see no harm in forcing them to change their methods through the market place. So I will continue to buy as much local/organic as possible. It seems to be working as we have more choice than we ever had.

                • Rocio Aguilar says

                  Agreed. I am a scientist and the are heaps of evidence of “scientific work” about benefits of organic food. People, scientist are just people. I agree with you Richard that the fact that the word science is on the table, that does not mean last word. But still, here there are some TRUE EVIDENCE for the skeptics…check out this webpage with scientific studies…oh wait, it is in Spanish…hope that would not be an excuse for evidence…
                  Por la plata baila el mono, a Spanish saying which states that if there is money around, many would even defend irrational and unmoral just for the price….

              • mike says

                the french have done a study on gm food which shows elevated risks of tumors, which is why Russia and large parts of europe have banned gm foods

                • John Hilliard says

                  The French study you are referring to, Seralini, is one of the most discredited studies in the history of science. The science on the safety of GMO has been settled for several years, and 100+ of the most prominent scientific institutions in the world say so. It does not matter how many people sign a petition, as it only takes a single fact to change the opinion of these 100+ institutions representing hundreds of thousands of earnest scientists.

              • Dhivya Kamalakannan says

                Hi Gustav,
                You said there is no way to prove GMOs cause health altercations. You are right, absolutely. But, remember, there is no statistical method on earth to disprove it as well. As a student of science, I can tell you that statistics cannot prove causation, only demonstration. It is the human mind that has to infer conclusions from the observed regressional analyses.
                Science hasn’t been able to prove that tobacco causes cancer- only statistically. The variables involved in measuring the causes for cancer are not purely arithmetic, they are socio-environmental, meaning can be linked to many factors and traced to many in return. But come on, can you really state that as a reason and buy tobacco to feed your children? No, right. This is just like that. Science can only tell you what has been observed. You must use your sixth sense to understand what’s good for you and what’s not. Science only gives you an opportunity to change your bad habits. The choice , at the end of the day is yours.

              • Niki M. says

                You are wrong.. There are tons of evidence that prove the GMOs are toxic for health. You are absolutely (selectively) blind if you are not aware of that by now.
                Any scientist who speaks the truth about it, get his head cut off (figure of speech)

          • Nofries says

            Well, Steve, when I was young, I was cocky and had the same attitude that you do. I’m older, now, and am missing my gallbladder and had an ovary and a massive tumor removed. Basically, I was gutted like a catfish. I now have multiple chemical sensitivities, gluten sensitivity, and thyroid problems. You won’t be able to sustain your food lifestyle. I used to be invincible, my advice is to change before it sneaks up on you, like it does with everyone else.

            • mandy says

              I agree 100% with this comment as it mirrors my own past and take on it all. I am married to a food producing farmer and we debate the uses of various products on crops. He is old school taught in university in the 1970s. I am trying to inform him of the need to revise many practices.
              I used to eat all manner of junk as a teen and young adult. For many years now, I have been cooking my own foods and my gall bladder nearly exploded like a bloody grenade when I was only 20!
              Now, I have gluten intolerance as well as IBS and avoid artificial everything! To prove a point further, I do as a treat, now and then visit the great little burger place in town and am never sick from that food. I get a burger ( they get meat fresh daily) and a GF bun. homemade chips to die for, and a milkshake. I am amazed this food never hurts me, but then it is all made fresh and with no added crap, just like at home.

          • Alex says

            You SHOULDN’T be eating half the stuff on the grocery shelves! Read the ingredients list. How many of those additives would you use at home when making the same thing?

          • SteveL says

            Don’t worry Steve we are not worried about you or your health either, it’s your body and it’s where you have to live not us.

          • Robin G. says

            Yeah…good luck with that. When you’re dying of some horrible illness, be sure and ask someone to get fries for you.

      • Stephanie says

        Really? Not in the business of propaganda? What do you think he’s spreading? And why? he makes MONEY doing this and writing books so he can SELL them! If he told instead how well fed Americans are and how they have the healthiest food supply in the world, do you think anyone would pay him to say that? Or write books about it? NO!

        • Qvintus says

          Wow, what an obfuscating article by Daniel Engber in answer to Pollan’s New York Times essay from January 2007 ( While disregarding Pollan’s main points, Engber claims that Pollan is somehow unscientific and conservative in his approach, whereas Engber obviously (either because of ignorance, or willfully) is defending an industry that uses science not for the common good, but because they want to sell their (often highly processed) ‘food-like’, more or less unhealthy, products to consumers.

          All in all, Pollan’s recommendations are sound, and they come from independent scientific advice and well-tested experience, i.e. not from corporate food industry ‘science’ that is promotional to sell more stuff, while disregarding whether the products are healthy or not.

      • Helena says

        The US seems to have some very questionable food standards……I have read about the whole Monsanto/GMO issue (which is concerning for me even in Canada because a lot of our fruits are imported from the US)……………however, as this article refers specifically to McDonalds….McDonalds in Canada has this info available. I do know potato farmers in Canada who supply to McDonalds….and no such chemicals are used

    • Pepin Galarga says

      Don’t be naive. That’s what we’ve been made to believe but you see it all the time. They would use arsenic in chicken feed and conceal records of it to keep it hidden from the public.

      “Beginning in 1944, the FDA approved more than 100 products that contain arsenicals for use in chickens, turkeys and pigs to increase weight gain and make the animals’ meat look pinker, among other purposes. Their use quickly became a standard practice in industrial chicken production, with the chicken industry estimating that 88 percent of U.S. chickens received an arsenical known as roxarsone in 2010.”

      • Sheila says

        That’s CORRECT! These mega corporations just change the names to conceal the identity of the poison….just like calling “mercury” Thimerosal, which is approximately 50% mercury by weight, has been one of the most widely used preservatives in vaccines. It is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Ethylmercury is an organomercurial that should be distinguished from methylmercury…..Add all the lies & cover up’s! Watch this link that proves it!

        • KCGustav says

          You are a loon. Vaccine saves lives. The only man who ever published any peer reviewed research linking vaccines to autism was disbarred from the medical profession, because he faked his research to make money selling his own vaccine. There’s your conspiracy. All you do by arguing for this link is prove your ignorance, and your lack of thoughtfulness, and threaten the lives of my children, my friends, and people with immune diseases. It is stupid and selfish.

          • HealthyMom says

            Hey there, Gus, she did NOT say that vaccines don’t save lives, she merely said that the format in which they are most often administered was in combination with a highly toxic preservative. I believe that (have NOT verified this, I admit) there is a way to get the vaccines without the mercury – am about to find out for sure as I look into getting these for my own child. If you doubt the toxicity of mercury, look into the work of Dr. Mark Hyman who has thoroughly researched the issue.

          • Charlotte says

            Ha, you fell for that nonsense did you Gus about Wakefield trying to make money from his own vaccine, shows how uninformed you are.

    • Gus says

      There’s no fact…. how a potato survives this so called “ultra poisonous” pesticides and the farmers won’t go near them for 5 days ? It kills a person but not a potato ?

      • says

        Of course it won’t kill the potato, they are genetically engineered in a lab to resist to the pesticides. Including Glyphosate (Round up). Shame on the health regulatory agencies in North America. Sadly we are #38 for longevity, and the largest consumers of GMO’s. The corporations are sadly killing you slowly but surely. Biotech industries including Monsanto are responsible for this matter and this poisoning going on. Industrial farming will kill the environment and the world. GMO’s are not here to feed the world but to promote the use and sell pesticides. These are causing diseases caused by chronic malnutrition (dead food). Wake up America!

            • Millie says

              Please research it and tell others, the majority of people are clueless. Start with this film please, it’s long but worth the info. Shows Bush telling Monsanto people that they are in the business of deregulating. Also note all the other terrific chemicals that Monsanto has tried to pass off with FDA approval to add to our food chain.

            • Hugh says

              Actually it’s 100%. Every plant and animal in our food chain has been genetically modified. We have been doing this for centuries. Mutation followed by selective breeding has been the way we produced GMO’s in the past. Today we can get in there and modify one or more genes that gives the life form the properties we desire – like Monsanto did to give canola plants resistance to RoundUp.

              • Dana says

                GMO’s are nothing like hybridization, which is what you are referring to. GMO’s have genes spliced in from completely different organism. It would never happen in nature. Cross breeding plants in nothing like GMO’s. Do your research.

          • says

            Huh.. Yes they are. All major food crops have been engineered to resist to Roundup. So yes they are altered and manipulated in some manner not to die when being sprayed. Our food chain is messed up, and the quality of the soil is so depleted, we are not getting the vitamins and minerals we should be ingesting. Glyphosate (Roundup) was first patented as a metal ”chelator”, it binds and grabs any metal ion and destroys it. (Ex: Iron, Manganese). It is also a potent and patented as a ”antibiotic gene marker”. That means folks that all of your food that is being sprayed is drenched into a antibiotic. Why do you see so many people with resistance to antibiotics. You do the math. We are eating it in meat and our fresh produce. Look at the food labels. More than 80% of the food on shelves contain some GM ingredients here in Canada. This is a disgrace to America, and this is against our own constitutional rights to know what is our food and how is was grown.

          • Donald W says

            ECO potatoes are grown by some farms on P E I . They are very hard and don’t cook well . They can be found in most supermarkets in Atlantic Canada .

      • Sheila says

        Why do you think there are “WARNING” labels on the USE guides for pesticides?!! Just look up the guidelines for use, before you make a statement like you have! FYI, here is the link! What do you think a “skull & Crossbones” means? I hope you KNOW that means POISON! DANGER!! ….. for Bayer’s Monitor 4 Liquid Insecticide.

    • Lisa B. says

      you are do the’s out there..but then again..just go ahead and trust you life with big agro..i’m sure you will be fine..not!

    • J. says

      I’ve recently moved to a farming community, and yes, unfortunately they do use very caustic chemicals on our foods, especially just before harvest! My brother in law works for a company that helps with irrigation ditches, and he’s had his skin burned from the water that came out of those ditches due to all the chemicals they carry – runoff from the fields. Many farmers have to wear protective gear when spraying the crops!

    • LIsa says

      One evening many years ago, my uncle, a farmer loaded the tractor with fertilizer to be used first thing in the morning. He went to bed, and never woke up. He was poisioned by the fertilizer.

    • Megan says

      Well Gary, if you feel that farmers do not use pesticides or chemicals on their crops, then by all means eat whatever you want without any mind as to what you’re putting in your mouth. Watch your health decline. I enjoy doing my own research and thinking for myself, not putting my health in the hands of corporations and the food industry. They only have their bank accounts in mind, not you or me. It makes me sad that there are people out there who mindlessly believe anything that they are told, instead of doing the research themselves and putting their health first. Once that changes, disease and health problems will decline dramatically.

    • EdieS says

      You are sadly mistaken, my friend, if you think that farmers will not use toxic pesticides. Listen to the explanation. If they want to sell their potatoes, this is what they feel they have to do. Read Environmental Working Group’s website to get an idea of the pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.

    • Edwin Dominguez says

      Research is done and facts are there but of course, when you on denial, like FOX, you conveniently won’t find the facts.

    • Sandy says

      Wait until the U.N. gets a hold of the internet! We won’t get any truth! Someone, somewhere will be offended or threatened. Big companies (like the pharmaceutical and agriculture companies to name a few) and lobbyists will pay to alter, or remove the information altogether!!! The U.N. is so corrupt! Good-bye second amendment. We’ll all be treated like mushrooms; in the dark and s*@# on!

  2. Kath A. says

    Sorry to upset you, but that is exactly what farmers do. That is what the majority of genetic modification is about – Monsanto etc are developing crops that can survive being sprayed with cocktails of chemicals that kill everything but the modified crop. And guess who owns the chemicals they are proofing the crops against? For goodness sake, if you don’t believe it, please, please don’t just say ‘that’s crap’ and ignore it – do your own research, talk to farmers, read books, get an informed opinion. It IS frightening, and it will continue to happen until more people are aware of it, and enough of us stand up and say ‘no way’. Organic growing isn’t just for long haired hippies anymore – it’s for anyone who wants healthy, safe food!

    • Denise says

      Kath A. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We all need to take our food supply seriously. It is a matter of life or death… human, plant , animal and planet!

    • cathy says

      Not all farmers use such things any more than all ranchers shoot growth hormones / antibiotics in their animals. Some of us care what we put in our bodies and what we sell to others to put in their bodies. Just make sure you buy from local small farms and ask questions.

    • Sheila says

      You’re correct! IF YOU CONTROL THE FOOD….YOU CONTROL THE WORLD! This is why everyone should try to plant their own food, even if it’s in a box by your window or support local, sustainable, organic farming!!!

    • DM says

      I try to grow as much of my own as possible now so as to avoid the chemicals and only buy meats, pesticide, antibiotic and hormone free. Yes, our government knows we are being poisoned!

  3. julie says

    Kath Has it right I can not believe there any one that does not know for heaven sakes we get food sprayed with chemicals that are banned in the U.S. but are allowed to be sold to the U.S then we that shop in your local store are buying them

  4. Pam says

    The chemicals and the genetically modified crops are banned outside of the US in other countries but are permitted in the US. MONSATO is heavily protected by our government. It is the source of obesity and the rise of disease.

    • sammyd says

      That’s a crock of crap.
      GM foods and feeds are allowed to be imported all over the world. In the EU it is allowed to import them but they do not allow their farmers to use them. They have a nice cover story about health, yet none of their scientific commisions have ever found a problem healthwise with GM crops and have recommneded their use. They refuse to let them be used because their farmers are even more heavily subsidized then ours and the govts are all ready headed towards broke.

      GM crops have been heavily scrutinized both here and abroad and they have never been proven to be any sort of health problem by any proper scientific tests or study.

  5. Kev says

    It’s simple spend time with your chrildren and get them to grow their own veg, then cook it. They then understand in and love it. Home grown veg always tastes so much better and is cheap too!

    • Richard says

      Dear Dan, sadly the taste of something should not be anyone’s criteria for what to eat. Salt fat and sugar are addictive. That is what you ‘taste’. It is now possible to re-create any taste or smell on any base, so we can take very nasty base material and make it ‘taste’ good. For the sake of everyone’s health I urge everyone to think very carefully about the food they consume. The health problems are well documented and the statistics are getting worse. There are reasons for that. The bottom line is to become informed and do your own research.

  6. Barbara says

    Not to be inflammatory, but feminism was largely at fault. Healthy meal prep requires time, as you said, and once both men and women joined the workforce, they were both too busy and tired to commit the necessary time to it. One either has to prepare meals days ahead and freeze them, prepare the night before for crockpot meals, or prepare after work and eat dinner right before bed. Not practical.

    • deborah says

      women in the workplace is not “feminism”. Women in the workplace is economic necessity in most cases and basic human rights in all cases

      • Barbara says

        Yes, it’s economic necessity now because so many women are working that we are now a two income based economy. One person used to be able to earn enough money to support a family. And, yes, work is a basic human right and I’m not saying that anyone should be forced not to work. It’s just a shame that most of the women who would love to be homemakers are now forced to work outside the home. I don’t think there’s a viable solution other than living way below the American standard, which is what we did when our kids were growing up so that I could stay home with them. I understand the problems that led to the feminist movement, but I just think that this is an unintended consequence of so many women going to work. Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off-topic and it really doesn’t accomplish anything, right? I’ve just known a lot of women who were heartbroken that they had to leave their small children and I think it’s a shame.

        • Tiffiany says

          I’m not sure that it’s off topic at all, as women spent more time in the workforce and less time at home our healths have declined. I’d like to see even more on the subject.

          • says

            It’s not women spending more time in the workforce that is affecting our health. It’s the food industry and it’s myriad of processed food and the chemical companies with their genetically modified foods being basically shoved down our throats. Many of us are working to force the food companies to label GMO foods so we can avoid these and by real food. Organic is the way to go to get rid of the GMO foods and the chemicals added to foods grown in the conventional way. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last year or so regarding these issues and believe me, there’s some scary stuff out there. I’ve been buying organic produce, grass fed beef and dairy from grass fed beef, free range chickens and eggs from free range chickens and non-factory pork. I no longer trust Big Food or the FDA. All they are interested in is their bottom line.

            • Ron L says

              Do you realize that organic farmers still use pesticides? They just use organic pesticides, which tend to be less effective, therefore requiring more applications, which make them worse for the environment. They can also treat seeds with radiation and still call them organic, legally. Organic farms also produce 30% less product, which means more land will have to be cleared (deforestation). All this, and there are almost no nutritional benefits to eating organic, just higher costs.

              • Richard M says

                A couple of points on organic farming. The average organic farm is roughly 27 acres in size, and therefore most organic labels come from a network of organic farmers. The most effective pest and weed management method for organic farming is crop management (rotating crops to minimize the the natural pest population, etc.). I am not a fan of the organic label, as much as finding local farms and knowing what goes into the growing method. But the conclusion that organic is somehow worse seems a little ill-informed in my opinion.

                Studies are also consistently showing organic foods to have higher nutritional densities… Here is a primer:

                As for deforestation to make farm land….. That ceased to happen to any measurable level about 100 – 150 years ago in the US. To the contrary most of North America has been re-foresting as smaller farms have slowly disappeared.

            • Rodney Audas says

              Elizabeth, this reply has little to do with your post, and much to do, with your name. As you can see, we share the same very uncommon last name. I am curious to know where you got yours. I assure you this is not a ploy to stalk, harass, or otherwise aggravate. Nor is it one to phish financial information. I literally stumbled on this article while on Facebook and saw your name on your comment. If you wish to contact me privately let me know and I’ll get you my email address.

  7. bob says

    The reason they stay out of the field for 5 days is after 5 days the chemical is no longer harmful. You people need educate yourselves on todays agriculture. If farmers didn’t use pesticides to kill insects and chemicals to kill weeds to increase their yields, half of you would be starving and paying 10 times what you do for food at the local store.

    • Shaina says

      No longer harmful after 5 days? I think you are the one who needs to educate yourself on today’s agriculture “bob”. I know farmers, personally, who won’t eat there own produce, nor allow any of their friends and family, because they have personally seen the damage the chemicals due. But they have to keep growing it this way because the fields have been in the family so long and chemicals used so many years that the chemicals are now required to get anything to grow in that soil at all, and, sadly, it’s their only source of income. No matter how many days it’s been. The pesticides used on our food are some crazy toxic stuff. And actually, it is illegal to label any pesticide as “harmless” or “safe”.

    • Pat Corkran says

      Here here, I have I reading post after post on how bad these chemicals are. Without them right now, if you stopped using them right now, a carrot would cost you $20.00. God only knows what a steak would cost. I do believe that 90% of you are “reverse terrorist”. There is NOTHING wrong with our food supply. You guys need to do more research in intelligent arenas.

  8. Greg Hellmann says

    FYI, You do have a choice… buy it or dont… you also have the choice to grow and harvest your own…

  9. Michelle says

    Once we as a community realize what the effects of fast food, GMO (genetically modified organisms), and processed food have on our health, we would hope to make a change in our eating habits. Unfortunately, a lot of these foods have been created with ingredients to have us addicted. The GMO’s that are added to our foods by Monsanto can be fought to make sure you vote for the bill to have our foods labeled. It was known as Prop 37 in California last year. Again, the food companies do everything in their power by spending millions of dollars to hide, distort, and blind us from these truths. Isn’t it weird the head of the FDA was previously the VP of Monsanto??!! Monsanto is the same company that sprayed Agent Orange in Vietnam which left future children of Vietnam citizens disfigured and Vietnam vets future children disabled. There is a worldwide “March against Monsanto” on May 24th. If you look up on Facebook you can find your local group that is putting it on. It’s a 2 million person worldwide march so let’s spread the word and let these companies and our government know we will not tolerate them putting fish cells in our strawberries so they can make more profits. Time to stand up for ourselves and protect our kids’ future. If you don’t believe it, research for yourself and be prepared to hear the truth.

  10. Jerry S says

    I was curious about the speaker’s qualifications as a food scientist. Wikipedia says: “Michael Pollan is an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.” Oh, and he’s selling a book.

    • Richard M says

      I know very little about Pollan, but he has been writing on the subject for a long time. I will say that in my 43 years, I have observed that science occasionally takes its time to catch up with common sense…

  11. Smarterthanyou says

    I came here to read the moronic comments, wasn’t disappointed. “Errmahgerd! Monsanto is evil and making my baby have a vaccination and is the reason I’m obese” you people need to take a look at yourselves and realize that pesticides are used because it’s needed, bugs evolve at a faster rate and thus require progressively stronger pesticides, the pesticides used are tested for years before being released from testing and brought to public consumption. Sweet monkey chunks people are stupid… Do us a favor, don’t get vaccinated, we need the population down.

    • Tabitha says

      You’re right. We do need the popluation to drop. Keep drinking that “pesticides are healthy for me” Kool-aid and help it along.

    • Tabitha says

      It’s sad what people will tell themselves in order to continue a cycle that is unhealthy for them. The lengths people will go – the lies they tell themselves – to defend their junk food lifestyle.

    • Richard M says

      “moronic” “sweet monkey chunks” “stupid” and “you people”… yeah, you are going to really sway opinions LOL

  12. todd says

    Cancelled in 2009 and not because anyone developed an illness post harvest from its use, but to save birds. So this chicken little, the sky is falling and all pesticides/herbicides are awful rant can end. All fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides contain some level of toxity before they are used. They have to, thats how we conteol weeds and pests, by killing them with toxins. If these things arent used, our crop production falls and people starve. So if you are for stopping the use of these things you are advocating starvation amoung the poorest.

    • Richard M says

      While I agree that as with all things, people can come to extreme conclusions (the sky is falling). Calling for all discussion (rants) to end is similarly over the top as well.

      You are right that modern farming practices create yields that support cheap food prices (relatively). But the speaker is right to some degree, and at least in this one presentation, is offering fairly sane advise; “cook your own food”. It is also, a foregone conclusion that the food industry favors production, price, and safety (short term) well above nutritional value or long term health. The fact of the matter is it is up to each individual to be educated enough to make healthy decisions. Personally I am a Libertarian/conservative capitalist… I do not trust government to do a great job looking after my long term health. And if they do get more involved, they will most likely screw it up.

      Every step of the food industry has one mission: provide a product at a profit. I do believe that as the number of people grows demanding higher quality (or less pesticides etc) the market will respond. We are already benefiting from that as at the very least we do have more options… certainly more than when I was a child.

      For me, anecdotally, I have chosen to not adhere to any one philosophy, particularly main stream thought regarding health and nutrition. Our bodies were not created (or did not evolve) to consume pesticides/herbicides/micro infused hydrogenated products, massive doses of sugar and salt, etc. etc. So just because food is grown to feed the masses, doesn’t mean it is wise to eat like the masses.

  13. Janine says

    Just watch Food Inc. you will learn a lot about the food we buy in the grocery stores and what we are putting in ours and our children’s bodies. It is scary.

  14. Ronald says

    The harsh reality is that the health of people is not considered in food production …..only how much money can be made. I always laugh at the food commercials posing as providers of “healthful” foods. Call me cynical- but THAT IS THE TRUTH. Why would it not be? This whole country has sold its soul and worships at the altar of the almighty dollar. So forget the agendas, the supposed research to provide “healthful” food- it is ALL tainted by the green of which they print currency from- if you think not, you are deluded and naive.

  15. says

    And THIS my friends is why if I eat fast food…I ONLY eat In n Out…listed by the author of the book “Fast Food Nation”as being the ONLY fast food chain in America that he would even be comfortable eating…

  16. Jacqulene Eversole says

    Try getting the whole end cap of a soda machine that fit’s the whole bottom of the their largest cup in your soda as you drink it. I swallowed a piece of what I thought was ice, but when we got to the bottom of the cup, we found this large plastic piece plastic that was cracked, chipped in a few places and rusty looking.
    I put the rest of the coke and the piece in the freezer, but the next morning, my husband and I were both sick, (We shared the drink)! We focused on the illness and when I thought about the cup, I contacted McDonalds who seemed very concerned. After asking a few questions, they decided that we had no claim because we didn’t go to the Doctor! I was told that those parts are cleaned daily yet this was so nasty that you could scrape stuff off of it! It was also chipped in 4 or 5 places and had cracks on it. They sent me a letter of apology and two free meal deals! I guess we who eat in their restaurant are considered poor enough to want free food and everything should be ok! I still have the letter with the coupons and will never eat there again!! I also have the cup in the freezer and pictures, but they don’t care! I was going through my dad having a few months to live and didn’t do what I should have done by getting legal help. I have lots of problems with my colon and bloody diarrhea. No thank you McDonalds and thank you for the care you gave us!!! Your food taste like nasty greasy microwave food and the fries are never fresh and taste like they have been put back in the grease to reheat them. Watch out people!!!

  17. Nazrul says

    One thing I got from this lecture and also believe the way we are thinking to make our life style so easy and comfortable as well as healthy, and for that what ever we are doing i.e we are loosing our interest to cook at home because we are thinking that cooking at home is nothing but lost of our most precious time and energy but unfortunately this is nothing but to destroy our most valuable thing i.e our health.We shouldn’t only think of it but also we should start realize the reality for our better future, a real health life for myself,my family, my society, for my country as well as for the whole WORLD.

  18. David markham says

    Yeah. I’ll still be eating them. They clearly know what they are doing when it comes to using this pesticide safely.

  19. John Roge says

    The genie is out the bag, magic to see it put so simply and honestly; Micky P nails it, so good on you microbe human thang, amazing insight and depth of understanding

  20. downunder jack says

    From reading all the comments its safe to say that the vast majority of the unintelligent remarks such as ‘McD’s fries are yummy. I’m still not givin’ em up.’ come from selfish and ignorant americans. That being said I understand that its not all americans who are like that..but im so glad im not an american right now (or fat from consuming a lot of ultra processed food.. like americans are) :)

  21. Igor Bartsnov says

    Just remember that organic, naturally grown, non genetically modified apples contain cyanide. It occurs naturally in the apple. It is a deadly poison.

  22. jonnie says

    Round up made by monsanto. GMO seeds produced by Monsanto. Mega aggro techniques that leave the soil infertile unless you use Monsanto fertilisers. Hmmm are we seeing a pattern yet? One of the first things I learnt in farming was crop rotation was essential to keeping the soil healthy, now we just have dust that soaks ups chemicals. Where are we going with this. oh yeah… downhill and backwards. See you all at the Fema concentration camps whilst they are dishing out protein slop and tattooing are arms with a number.

  23. Greta says

    Mr. Pollan, I enjoyed your talk; it was very insightful. But, I wanted to point out one thing: government can make actions illegal, giving people no choice in their behavior. Government telling everyone what to do is like your parents never letting you walk because you might fall and bump your head, except with even more sinister/expansive repercussions. People are capable of learning and do so more effectively when they choose to learn vice being told what to do. Corporations can’t force anything down anyone’s throat, no matter how slick the marketing.

  24. lisa kominek says

    So many conspiracies, oh my god just shut up already. It’s not a secret that McDonald’s fries are not great for you but seriously, why would anyone believe these people who are untrained in science or medicine who claim to know, without question that doing this or that will make us healthier. I call bulls**t. And then the vaccine-autism conspiracists start chiming in and all credibility goes out the door. Vaccines do not cause autism the one study that supposedly proved a link was ruled as a hoax because the researcher falsified findings. Now there are measles epidemics because entire populations of ignorant parents did not vaccinate their kids. People really flatter themselves, thinking they have figured out the secret key to health or preventing stuff like autism. It’s downright insulting..

  25. tw1ztidm1k3 says

    hm…listen to a hippie who wants to do nothing but throw blame at mcdonalds to make more money on his book..or listen to ourselves who have been eating this “crap” all our lives and YET ARE STILL ALIVE..lets just get rid of every vaccine on the planet to die sooner…or wait i have an idea how about we take even more sports and foods away from our kids so they will never have a proper childhood, because we want to be overprotective, god you people make me sick, i smoke, eat junk food with this so called GMO in it and my doctors have told me they are happy with how healthy I am, while the other day he had a vegetarian who talks crap about the government poisoning our foods and blah blah, she on the other hand needed extra care because she was malnourished and starving herself to avoid “grown foods’ this world needs a desperate change and fast, this whole world has turned into a bunch of sissies afraid to touch anything that can make us dirty, someone needs to stand up for all of us normal people who live normal lives and BTW if you vgn people and supporters are so high and mighty, then how come you just can’t be nice and respectful to the rest of us who don’t live like you??? huh??? the only reason I am ranting right now to you is, because I am completely sick of being dumped on by stupid hippies like you!

    • Richard M says

      Well, I probably not the target of your rant…. former Marine, conservative/libertarian, and have never owned a pair of Birkenstocks. I am glad that you have good health. In a way I am on the fence on this topic. I believe that the closer to natural food is. the better it is for you. It just seems like common sense to me. The only time I eat fast food is at the start of a road-trip… it is a family tradition (and it stops you up/dehydrates you). I love food, and I do enjoy cooking with my family…. a heck of allot better than sitting on the coach eating the garbage (sorry my opinion) from a fast food joint. I make a hamburger and it is a half pound patty, grilled, with heaps of lettuce, tomato, pickles, avocado greasy good. The hamburger is a meal… beats anything McDonalds could ever make. How in the world can you get trans fat in a hamburger??? Why?

      As for doctors… well I have had good reports as well… I feel great, and truth be told the three best health decisions I ever made was to ignore my doctor.

      My father was a smoker, and ate junk food (meat and potatoes kind of guy)……had a great attitude about life. He was in great shape his whole life and he worked 70 – 80 hours a week on average. His high level of activity kept him healthy. He collapsed at 61, from a ruptured colon and died at 63 from colon cancer. It is what it is. I would like to live like he did as far as his attitude goes. But his last few years were terrible. I wish he could have lived long enough to see my kids grow. But it is what it is.

      I see nothing wrong with encouraging people to turn away from food producers that are motivated solely by profit (and I have no problem with companies like McDonald’s… more power to them). And returning to the way our grand parents and great grand parents did things. To me it is common sense.

  26. Vlad says

    There seems to be a tendency to lump several ideas into one in this discussion, and then paint all of those ideas as “bad”. There is a profound difference between processed foods and GMOs. I cook for my family on a daily basis. I shop at both supermarkets and farmer’s markets, and I pay a lot of attention to what I put on the plate for my family and myself. The biggest issue with processed foods is the volume and ubiquity of ingredients you wind up putting in your body. Bread shouldn’t have 20 ingredients. Every day products like peanut butter, cream cheese, or rice, shouldn’t have sugar in it, or additional oil, or the breathtaking amount of salt, etc. Processed foods fundamentally change how our body operates by overloading it with ingredients that create addictive, unhealthy habits, and by creating new baselines of what food should taste like. A “normal” amount of salt suddenly tastes unnatural to us because our body has been conditioned to ingest a vastly greater amount. Processed foods truly are a problem. GMOs on the other hand I feel a lot less strident about. Let’s not forget that we, as humans, have been genetically engineering food for centuries. The process has been more labor-intensive and long, but foods have been hybridized and bred for heartiness, taste, longevity, and size forever. If you buy farmer’s market corn – you are buying a profoundly genetically engineered product. No matter if its been grown at a local farm, or from Monsanto seeds. Same for bananas and countless other products. Lumping industrial, processed food production with GMOs undermines the issues associated with both, as they are vastly different and complex.

    • John says

      GMOs are very different than hybridization. Look it up. Hybridization has been around a long time, GMOs have only been around since 1983.

  27. Gary says

    Well I live surrounded by potato fields. Grown for McCain French Fries… The farmers dress in “space” suits to apply chemicals to the crops on a regular basis. They will also “top Kill”” the plants with chemicals prior to harvest. Cancer rates in the area are among the highest in to country…. Most people I know in the area refuse to eat potato skins given the large amount of chemicals used in their production. Go ahead Dig in…

  28. melissa says

    look its simple. its ur choice to eat ir or not. stop trying to convince each other the opposite. nobody knows what really goes on with these companies good or bad.

    but to say they make us do something is pretty stupid. take ownershio for ur own actions.
    i watch the same commercials and im not “brain washed ” into going to buy mcdonalds. i choose not to go there because after i eat a meal from those places i feel sick and bloated after.

    now that i think about it, u have to think about what ur putting into ur body. have u ever bought a mcdonalds meal and got it home within 30 mins and its cold so u naturally want to warm it up just a bit but after u bite into it it doesnt taste as “fresh” does it?

    did u ever wonder why?
    i mean when i make burgers and theres left overs and i reheat it at a later time or even next day it still tastes like when i freshly made it.

    so ppl just stop and think about anything u put into ur body, but stop blaming companies cause its u who drives to those places, gives ur money and keeps them in business

  29. Sven says

    This is the kind of thing that always astounds me. Not pesticides or genetic food modification, but the fact that people always freak out about them like they’re some horrible, new thing. Humans have been breeding food and using pesticides for thousands of years. Now we are just a lot better at science and they are a lot safer than they used to be, but the hype around them is so much greater. IT reminds me of the anti-vaccine people, so uneducated and afraid of something safe and normal because there’s so much hype and scare tactics being thrown around. The enormous amounts of fat and sodium in those fries are MUCH worse than any pesticide that is used on the potatoes, but for some reason people always make a big deal about really stupid things like genetic modification processes and pesticides that are completely normal instead of the fact that you are basically eating deep friend salt and starch. The pesticides really aren’t the problem here.

  30. Will says

    My old country doctor always said if you grow it or shoot it, then eat it. If you buy it at the store and it tastes good then spit it out.

  31. Randolph says

    I have hands on with farming veggies on a large scale. Has for McDonalds or the farm thats grow these potatoes. This is a little infamitory. All farms use a pest aside and a herb aside every somany days to prevent things from starting. Most have a 5 day wait before you can pick after spraying. Its made that way so even after washing if any were left on it it would be enert to us. There are far worse things we eat every day that is way more dangerous for u. Im not saying junk food and fries are not bad for u. Just that by them naming McDonalds and this farm company like they are the only one does this is unfair. Any veggie u buy at a store is done the same way unless it says organic. that im not sure about.

  32. Mike says

    I think people confuse the term “doing your research” with “trolling the internet looking for articles that support their conspiracy theory”.

    I also find it funny that most of the people that I speak with who think that the government agencies, namely the USDA and FDA, are in bed with these chemical companies are the same people who voted in favor of allowing the government to accept a much larger role in the healthcare industry.

    I don’t claim to know much about any of this. I just can’t ignore what I see. and what I see doesn’t make sense to me.

  33. says

    It is our fault. We like our comfort and laziness to be pampered but we are becoming weaker and more ill, literally. What’s the solution? Greater visual exposure of where food comes from and its health consequences? Do you think the amputee commercials deter smoking? Or do we rather take the momentary pleasure and ignore our self-destruction?

  34. Susan says

    It is interesting to me how this website grasps onto a small part of this video and creates a sensational headline instead of talking about the big picture. I appreciate the fact that it got me to watch the video but I find it hard to respect this organization and whatever credibility they may have is diminished. I will be looking at the full podcast and sharing that.

  35. heather says

    Guys, don’t even respond to the people who say there is ”no scientific fact” against GMOs and pesticide use, and that there is no problem with mainstream food.If those who believe mainstream supermarket food is fine, then I respect that, and feel you have a right to eat whatever way you want.However, I don’t see why these individuals even bother to come tell us the error of our ways. Why not let us have out expensive hobby in peace. It is not killing anyone.

    • Mark says

      I have waded through most of the comments here, and the thing that strikes me most is that, with a few exceptions, each “side” makes claims about (among other things) GMO, without citing any sources or research. Anyone can make claims about the safety/danger of anything, but we would have a much better argum…I mean debate if sources were quoted such that each side could assess the evidence and reply with better/newer research.

      Or would we rather just throw accusations at each other?

  36. Kristine says

    Idahoan here!! Hmm…this is such a load of crap!!!!!! I live in Idaho and my grandfather runs one of the biggest farms that grows potatoes for Mcd’s. They do not spray some atrocious toxic chemical that needs 5 days to air out before you can walk on the fields!! I have never heard of that in my life. All farmers spray as little as possible, sometimes never. As for harvesting, all potatoes need to be “cured” for a period of several weeks to thicken the skins. All potatoes here in Idaho are kept in massive sheds to prevent exposure to the climate. We also have fruit sheds too. We have very hot weather in the summer and cold in the winter so these massive sheds protect our food from the heat and from the freezing temps. This guy is insane. He is just using scare tactics on you people. BEWARE what you believe.

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  43. says

    More productive than the very best broad-acre modern farms. Free of pesticides, weedicides, chemical fertilizers etc
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