Michael Pollan, Conscientious Eater

Suzanne DeChillo / The New York Times / Redux

Two Passions
Ironically, Nature-loving Pollan grew up in a suburban town on Long Island. "The mysteries of germination and flowering and fruiting engaged me from an early age," he recalls, "and the fact that by planting and working an ordinary patch of dirt you could in a few months' time harvest things of taste and value was, for me, nature's most enduring astonishment. It still is." Both of his parents were accomplished writers, and Michael followed in their footsteps, working as a reporter as soon as he left high school. Working his way up to senior editor at Harper's, he began contributing to The Times Magazine in 1995.

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