How Michael Pollan Ruined My Life

Halfway through the semester, I learned a new word: orthorexia. It means having an unhealthy obsession with eating healthily, an irony that was not lost on me as I stood in line at the Berkeley Bowl watching my groceries be rung up. Wild, line-caught salmon, pesticide-free strawberries -- by now, those were normal. But organic ice cream? Was I really now concerned about the origins of my junk food, worrying whether a mint-chocolate-chip-producing cow had access to pasture? I felt myself burning with self-righteous anger at having to be so self-righteous. I wanted to know the answer to one question: after wreaking so much havoc on my own life, what, exactly, did Pollan eat? So I did what any rational person would: I demanded to see the contents of his refrigerator.

Michael Pollan was one of my teachers at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and don't get me wrong -- he is smart, thoughtful, a fantastic teacher and an all-around great human being. But, as I pointed out in the San Francisco Chronicle, he still ruined my life.