book hack

The Botany of Desire

Michael Pollan

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

The Botany Of Desire describes how, contrary to popular belief, we might not be using plants as much as plants use us - appealing to our human desires for beauty, intoxication and control in order to ensure their own survival.


The Botany of Desire

The Botany of Desire

by Michael Pollan


Michael Pollan writes great books about food. He's incredibly thorough in his research and never fails to tell interesting stories, in which he wraps up and embeds the important points he wants to get across to the reader.

Pollan's most popular book is The Omnivore's Dilemma, which has been showered with praise for its critical depiction of how the industrial revolution has changed the way we eat. In Defense of Food, he showed us how to go back to more natural ways.

But The Botany Of Desire is different. Published in 2001, it's one of his oldest books, and it proposes a very intriguing idea: that plants use and control us as humans just as much as we use and control them.

Favorite quote

Plants are nature's alchemists, expert at transforming water, soil and sunlight into an array of precious substances, many of them beyond the ability of human beings to conceive, much less manufacture.

- Michael Pollan

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