Nathanael Johnson is an award-winning journalist who has written features for Harper's, New York, Outside, and San Francisco magazines and produced stories for National Public Radio and This American Life. He studied with Michael Pollan at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in San Francisco.
Engaging look at the merits of nature versus technology...Johnson's investigation is both horrifying and amusing, and readers will relish the colorful, witty writing and find much food for thought. Booklist [Johnson] presents a refreshing optimism that neither extolls the organic to the point of supporting pseudoscience nor negates the value of scientific advancements The book strikes at the heart of hot-button issues with an Everyman appeal. Kirkus It's hard not to smile when [Johnson] writes tenderly about growing up as a naked back-to-nature kid raised on zucchini in a world of space-pod juice packets like Capri Sun and spreadable cheese food. Spirituality & Health Magazine I had so much fun reading All Natural that I found myself reading passages aloud to my husband and summarizing Johnson's findings to my kids' teenage friends. RANDI HUTTER EPSTEIN.COM + Psychologytoday.com His book is not only a fascinating read for those who want to get to the bottom of issues such as raw milk and home birth, but it is also a call for more sensible decision-making...Johnson's personal journey through the book, which he recounts with sparkling humor, begins with him shopping for the best ideology and ends with him trying to operate without any ideology--seeing 'the world both ways at once, with both eyes open.' CONSERVATION MAGAZINE What's really welcome about his deeply reported book, All Natural, is that [Johnson's] upbringing makes the investigation of nature vs technology fun as well as thought-provoking...All Natural brings the arguments to life through a cast of wonderful farmers, neighbors, doctors, midwives and Johnson's own parents. LOS ANGELES TIMES This is a quirky and fascinating book, one of a kind. Johnson's parents were stalwart hippies and raised him according to the orthodoxy that whatever is most natural is best, so: natural childbirth at home, no sugar in the diet, no clothing on the baby (not even diapers!), natural medicines etc. Johnson decides to examine the scientific basis of these practices, and lo and behold, discovers more justification than you would expect for a radically less-industrialized approach to managing the various stages of development, life and death. Michael Pollan, Barnesandnoble.com