Pollan Review

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 175

Words: 413

Pages: 2

Category: English Composition

Date Submitted: 09/20/2012 02:10 PM

Report This Essay

Pastoral: Grass is a look into the different mindsets of organic farming. How it has

evolved from a hippie mindset, to a buzz word to a pastoral process. It seems that the idea has

branched off into different school of thought and this section of the book focuses not only on

grass and it’s place in the life cycle of all things but what it means to have a relationship to that


Pollan begins his discussion on an idyllic farm that has a pervasive role in the whole

section. Salatin’s farm, Polyface has a symbiotic relationship between the animals and the

grass, which is the main focus because grass sustains life. Cows eat it, chickens feed off the bugs

left from the droppings and the droppings fertilize the fields. Everything works in harmony and

there is no need for antibiotics or pesticides. That seems to be the main focus of the organic

farmer if not the only focus to avoid using antibiotics and pesticides. The lifestyle difference of

the animals from what is considered organic and the pastoral process makes one reconsider

their options for dinner.

What does it mean to be organic? This section looks into what is really behind that

“organic” label. The author tracks down the sources of certified organic products only to find

they mirror the same protocols as industrial farming, sans the chemicals. Animals live in the

same close quarter living situations and are given certified because they are fed organic grains.

Cows are ruminents and therefore eat grasses not corn but because produces meat faster the

animals are subjected to an all grain diet. Free range refers to the chickens having “access to

the outdoors” meaning a small strip of fenced off yard the chickens do not even use. The

standards for organic farming have morphed into a loose guideline that even allows synthetic

materials to be used during processing. These facts are eye opening when given a view of how a

sustainable farm can work with the ecology of...