Category Archives: RR3-Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire

Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire

The author, Michael Pollan, describes how our country selectively breed and genetically engineer our plants. On an average annual basis, an American farmer can grow enough food for only 100 people. With the help of Monsanto, the company aims to control potato harvesting as their own intellectual property to keep the same gene. Due to previous expenses on toxic chemicals, (which pollute ground water, food safety, and health) the company wants to issue a new change. Monsanto wants to replace the toxins with genetic information that can protect themselves from insects and diseases.

One idea can be a comparison of what the potato looks like in the inside and outside. Another can be a potato that looks damaged on the outside to reflect on the harsh chemicals. Another can represent two potatoes that look either identical or different with a patent number written on the surface.

Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire

In this excerpt from his book, Michael Pollan discusses the many struggles a farmer has when growing crops, while Monsanto, an agricultural company, experiments with genetic engineering, creating harmless crops that can magically protect them self.

For the photo shoot next class, I think that it would be a smart idea to show a significant contrast between an organically grown potato and a genetically modified one (or one that looks like it anyways).


The article of “The Botany of Desire” talks about how Monsanto is trying to control the production of these potatoes by claiming the rights to not let any farmers to reproduce the sprouts of the potatoes. Genetic engineering has allowed farmers to use an alternative method of organic products that no longer need the harsh chemicals to be able to produce these goods. So now all the negative effects that would normally be included into the food the populations consumes is taken out of the equation.


The article is basically about how only Monsanto has the rights to mass produce potatoes because they own the rights to that strain and any tampering or regrowth of the potatoes is actually illegal to do so other farmers cant have there own kind of potatoes making Monsanto potatoes a monopoly.

I was thinking that maybe have a potato on a conveyer belt like as if its being cloned rather than grown leaving out the diversity because no diversity is usually not a good thing, thats where i’m at right now.

Botany of Desire_GrandeJ

Genetic Engineering has met nature. Discontinuing the use of artificial components, Monsanto claims to use a different alternative to growing crops. The article, “The Botany of Desire”, explains that people have come to the conclusion that we cannot continue the way we do things when it comes to agriculture. Basically the point of the article is that we will be using genetic engineering to produce our patatoes because of all the negative side effects our current methods are having on our health and environment.