MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that acclaimed journalist and New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan will teach a class on intentional eating. From following food chains to fixing dinner, Pollan will encourage members to align their values with what they eat and get to know their food so they can adopt a diet that’s not only pleasurable but also healthful and sustainable. Pollan’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 180+ instructors with an annual membership.
“Michael has spent over 30 years researching and reporting his findings around how to eat more ethically, healthfully and sustainably,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In his class, he’s now breaking down everything he’s learned, teaching MasterClass members how to live a better and happier life by embracing easy-to-implement food habits that have a positive impact on our bodies and the society around us.”
In his class, Pollan will show members how to go beyond the label, trace food to its source and make ethical food choices. To help members rethink their relationship with food, Pollan outlines the Western diet, The American Paradox and how values can be expressed through food. He also highlights the barriers to intentional eating, which include systemic injustices that need to be addressed through government policies. Pollan pulls back the curtain on the four food chains—industrial, big organic, regenerative, and first-person—and explains the importance of seeking out sustainable, nutritional food chains instead of relying on an abusive, unhealthy industrial system.
He also shares his three simple food rules: eat food, not too much and mostly plants. Following them can help members avoid ultra processed foods; spot the psychological traps from corporations wanting Americans to eat more than they need; and feel encouraged to seek out the benefits of a mostly plant-based diet. Pollan will share his perspective on recent technological advances in the food industry, including plant-based meats and milks, and will try cultivated chicken for the first time. Pollan will also teach members how to find joy in cooking and how communal meals can bring people together. Throughout the class, Pollan will challenge members to complete assignments to help them eat more intentionally, such as keeping a food journal, tracking weekly spending and finding local food vendors in their area. Members will walk away from this class with the ability to better align their eating habits with their values and have a positive impact on their health, society, animals and the environment.
“Food matters. It doesn’t just matter to your health, it matters to the environment, to the animals, to the community and to your family,” Pollan said. “Throughout my life, I’ve written about agriculture, nutrition and cooking to learn more about the food that affects every aspect of our lives, and my goal for this class is to help members develop a sustainable way of eating for the long term.”
For more than 30 years, Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect. He is the author of nine books, seven of which have been New York Times bestsellers. His books include How to Change Your Mind (2018); Cooked (2013); Food Rules (2009)’ In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006), which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. In 2003, Pollan was appointed the Knight Professor of Journalism and director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2017, he was appointed professor of the practice of nonfiction at Harvard and the university’s first Lewis K. Chan Lecturer in the Arts. In 2020, along with Dacher Keltner and others, he cofounded the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. In 2022, Pollan released his four-part docuseries, How to Change Your Mind, on Netflix, which explores the history and uses of psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and mescaline.