Michael Pollan is a writer, journalist and professor of journalism at the University of California – Berkeley. He is mainly focused on the industrial food chain. Pollan has a simple solution for our broken food system; we must reduce our dependence on corporations.

In the United States fast food chain McDonald’s mainly uses the Russet Burbank potato for their french fries, a potato that grows very slowly. The potatoes are not suppose to contain spots which is difficult because this potato is very susceptible to diseases. McDonald’s does not want potatoes with spots and stripes.

The Russet Burbank potato in different states and different temperatures

the Russet Burbank potato

The only way to protect the potatoes against diseases is using a pesticide which contains methamidophos (Monitor). This remedy contains so much toxic that when the farmers who grow the potatoes are spraying them they don’t come into their pastures for five days.



When the potatoes are harvested, they are stored under a controlled atmosphere in huge barns with the size of multiple football stadiums. Because they are still edible after the harvest for the first six weeks all chemicals have to be extracted.

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In 2002 McDonald’s donated U.S. $ 10 million to various Hindu groups after it was revealed that French fries and other fried potato products were wrongly classified as vegetarian food. The food was found to contain beef added as a flavor enhancer.

The number of cancer cases are increasing and there are appearing more and more new studies showing that pesticides and genetically modified organisms are harmful for your health.