With his bestselling book In Defense of Food debuting in paperback, Michael Pollan spent Thursday on the TV/radio circuit in Manhattan.

He was on the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC.  My favorite bit is when he touches on antitrust in the food industry. “You have more concentration in the food industry than any other industry,” Pollan says. “There’s this tight little hourglass — lots of farmers, not many buyers.”

He appeared on Amy Goodman’s show Democracy Now. Amy asks him about the swine flu controversy. Michael’s response, from the rush transcript:

Well, we don’t know for sure yet. We’re still kind of investigating. But the best knowledge we have is that this outbreak came from a very large industrial pork operation, pork confinement operation, where, you know, tens of thousands of pigs live in filth and close contact. And this was in Mexico.

And, you know, it’s very interesting. Last year, eighteen months ago, the Pew Commission on animal agriculture released a report calling attention to the public health risks of the way we’re raising pork and other meat in this country. And they actually predicted in that report—they said the way you’re raising pigs in America today creates a perfect environment for the generation of new flu pandemics, basically because once you get that mutation, which sooner or later is about to happen, it very quickly—you have so many different—so much genetic material coming together, so concentrated, and then so many pigs can catch it, and that this is a—you know, we’ve created these Petri dishes for new diseases. And here we go.

He also appeared on the Colbert Show, and sparred sportingly with the funnyman host.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Michael Pollan
colbertnation.com
 [vodpod id=Video.1618685&w=425&h=350&fv=autoPlay%3Dfalse]
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Gay Marriage

The best part comes when Colbert gets Pollan’s mom, who’s in the audience, to admit that her son was fed formula, and not breast milk, as an infant. Good stuff!