about Michael Pollan

Age: 58.

Son: Isaac, 20, sophomore at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and a good cook.

Wife: Judith Belzer, a painter.

Home: Lives in Berkeley, Calif. (born in Long Island, New York).

Education: Bennington College, Oxford University and Columbia University.

Occupation: Professor at University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, and director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism.

Website: www.michaelpollan.com.

What you might not know ...

• He's an English major who took no science classes in his college career.

• A writer about television before he discovered nature as a topic.

• Was overweight in his 20s, after quitting smoking. For lunch, he dined daily on a cheeseburger, fries and beer.

• Son was such a picky eater that when the family traveled, they brought his favorite brand of pasta and tried to cook it for him wherever he was. But he would notice when it didn't taste the same because of the local water's flavor. His reactionary approach helped sensitize Pollan to food issues.

• Has three sisters (Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan; the latter is married to actor Michael J. Fox), who with mother Corky, are working on a cookbook, "The Pollan Family Table," to be published by Scribner.


• Named to the 2010 list of the Time [magazine] 100, an annual list of most influential people.

• Appeared in PBS documentary based on his book "The Botany of Desire" (2009).

• Appeared in documentary "Food, Inc." (2008).

• Appeared in documentary "King Corn" (2007).

• Four books on New York Times bestseller list.

Lee Svitak Dean