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6 pages/≈1650 words
6 Sources
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Book Report
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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The Botany of Desire: Michael Pollan Writing Assignment (Book Report Sample)


This option requires you to read a book from the list below. Each of these fiction or non-fiction books covers an environmental issue. You will have to write a book report summarizing
the main theme,
the environmental message of the book,
whether you agree with the message of the book, and
whether or not the environmental issue is still relevant.
The book report must be 5 pages (at least 1,600 words), double-spaced, and 12-point font. The 5 pages of written material must be your own personal writing. Figures, tables, quoted text, and other material does not count toward this total. It is best to write more than 5 pages to make sure you have fulfilled the length requirement.
Your report will be graded on content, organization and writing (including English, grammar, spelling etc). If you use references, please follow the citation examples below. Remember to reference all of your sources (see below) and be careful not to plagiarize (see plagiarism policy for a description of plagiarism and how to avoid it).
We do not accept Wikipedia as a source of factual information for this class or accept citations from Wikipedia for your work. Do not use Wikipedia. You must go to the library, newspapers, books, etc. and find reference material to support your written work there. References must be included underneath all figures, tables, graphs, and images. If you copy written material word-for-word from a book, website, etc., you must put quotation marks around the text and clearly CITE the author/source of the material.


Michael Pollan: The Botany of Desire
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation

The Botany of Desire: Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan explores the relationship between man and nature and compares the complementary roles they play in their survival. He uses the apple, the marijuana, the tulip and the potato plants to draw the connection of the plants to human desires. In a unique way, he illustrates how people gratify the needs of plants as we satisfy our needs with different products from the plants. He reviews the history of domesticated plants and the culture of gardening and the manner in which plants have adopted with the environmental changes through time. Ironically, he illustrates the way humans may have fallen subject to the needs of plants as they remain fixated on responding to their basic needs of using these plants.
He explores four desires of human beings the apple, sweetness; marijuana, intoxication; the tulip, beauty; and potatoes, control. The book is divided into four chapters which are based on each crop. Across the four chapters, he explores themes such as genetic engineering, coevolution, environmental conversation, modern farming and biological biodiversity of plants with their environments (Pollan, 2001). Besides the comprehensive thematic elucidation in the book, he also deliberates on environmental conservation, which is a pertinent issue in the wake of climate change. This book report explores the main theme, environmental deliberations, and the relevance of the environmental issues that he raises in the book today.
Main Theme
Biological Diversity
Biological diversity is the main theme that Pollan addresses in The Botany of Desire. Biological diversity is essential for the establishment of an effective ecosystem. Leopold (1948) noted, “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” He implied that animals and plants in an ecosystem have adaptive functionalities that we often do not notice. These adaptive abilities play a significant role in keeping the ecosystem balanced. This is evident in the comprehensive disclosure of Pollan on the apple from its ancient origins in the Central Asian forests through Europe and eventually in America (Gorb, 2002). After the arrival in the U.S., it got purveyors such as John Chapman, who would later be appropriately recognized as Johnny Appleseed.
Johnny Appleseed was an apple grower who relied on seeds to reproduce his apples. Besides the widespread acceptance of the fruit as it found its way to America, apples grown from seeds were sour or bitter unlike those from their mother plant. The apple had more uses in the brewing of alcoholic beverages (Benjamin, Por & Budescu, 2016). The beverage did not satisfy the basic need for the apple, which led to the adoption of scientific grafting of the sweet apple plants on to other plants to produce sweet apples. Later on, the apples would be promoted internationally as the healthy fruit it is perceived to be today.
While the cloning of the apple plant helped it spread globally, it presented challenges in the resistance to disease and pests. The new geographical areas where it was grown and the method of reproducing the crop presented a variety of challenges that could only be solved by farmers using pesticides (Benjamin, Por & Budescu, 2016). The management of these challenges made it difficult for the people to develop scientific solutions to protect the plants from infestation by insects and diseases. There is an interdependency between man and apples, where man relies on the apple for its sweetness while man dissimilates the apple. Thus, it thrives through the ages with the diverse risks that the plant is prone to.
After establishing the evolution of the apple, he questions the mot...

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Other Topics:

  • The Botany of Desire: Michael Pollan Writing Assignment
    Description: Your report will be graded on content, organization and writing (including English, grammar, spelling etc). If you use references, please follow the citation examples below. ...
    6 pages/≈1650 words | 6 Sources | APA | Biological & Biomedical Sciences | Book Report |
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