Download ➵ Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World Author Michael Pollan – Thomashillier.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World

  1. says:

    Ah, Caffeine, an interesting subject worth the small investment of time listening to this little production requires I ve always taken it on faith that caffeine does what I ve heard it does I came to drinking coffee late in life, preferring it spiked with plenty of sweet hot chocolate to get past the bitterness I ve gone weeks without drinking it and can t say that I experienced any withdrawal or dulling of the senses that I noticed, nor have I sensed any upsurge of sharpness when I do drink it I feel like I ve somehow missed out on something I m even less of a tea drinker I used to drink my share of carbonated beverages, some with caffeine, but I ve since gotten away from them I have reflux and they aggravate it.A book that was mentioned in this production is worth looking into A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage. It covers three beverages that contain caffeine coffee, tea, and cola along with three other history making beverages beer, wine, and spirits distilled liquor It really is fascinating It s one of those books that makes history fun and we all enjoy some fun once in a while In any case, this one was as enjoyable as I figured it would be A fine listen.


  2. says:

    You are likely than not to have coffee as your partner in crime , pushing you throughot the hardships of being awake Wouldn t you be interested in knowing better this substance that has such a tight grip on your daily routine In this small writeup, Michael Pollan contextualizes historically the role of caffeine in the development of society, presents scientific evidence both for and against its consumption, and adds a personal, human perspective by narrating the thoughts and behaviors through the 3 month abstinence that the author goes through The main takeaway is that caffeine represents a short term loan on your future energy and focus, whose interest is payed for most of the individuals with sleep quality loss and dependency You might also be interested in knowing that, despite how pervasive the caffeine culture is, most of the experts interviewed for the book abstain from consuming the substance on a regular basis These and other perspectives presented in the book might make you rethink how your relationship with this substance has evolved to today, and how you could improve it You might end up capable of adapting your mindset towards narrow focus or creativity, by turning caffeine from your personal hypnotist to your ally.


  3. says:

    This was short, but informative I wish that it went deeper, in the science, history, and even Pollan s personal experiences going off coffee though this was understandably meant to be short Not surprisingly, this was white Eurocentric Despite being titled Caffeine this book didn t discuss tea much at all, or the similarities and differences between coffee and tea.


  4. says:

    Pollan to stimulate your morning brew of botanical magic.


  5. says:

    A quick 2 hour audiobook free with Audible A brief history of caffeine and both its negative and positive effects on the human brain and human history Love how the author wrote this while he was doing his own experiment of going cold turkey with his daily coffee fix.


  6. says:

    Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world, and the only one we routinely give to children recreationally, in soft drinks.But why And what effects does it really have on us Michael Pollan decided to find out.In this short book, he looks at the history of caffeine, both the coffee plant and the tea plant, and I m going to say right here that you don t have to rely on Pollan s own statements to know that he s a coffee drinker rather than a tea drinker It s clear in how much time he devotes to our two favorite sources of caffeine He also looks closely at how caffeine affects our lives, work, and how we organize our economic lives.Unlike other popular drugs, like alcohol or marijuana, or psychedelics, caffeine gives us clearer brains, better focus, an increased ability to do clear, logical, linear thinking Scientific tests show it really does give a boost to memory We get a boost of energy, enabling us to keep working effectively at times our bodies would otherwise want to start shutting down and going to sleep That has had a substantial beneficial effect for business and industry It has helped make the modern world possible.But what about the effects on us That extra energy from that cup of coffee or tea or soda isn t free It blocks the absorption of dopamine, produced in the brain when we need sleep, and lets us remain active It doesn t block the production of dopamine, or the bodily reactions to hours of wakefulness and work that cause the body to produce dopamine The result, when we finally do sleep, is disrupted and interrupted sleep.Caffeine is addictive If you stop using it, you have withdrawal symptoms that include headaches and exhaustion We also while using it become habituated stop your caffeine use long enough to come out the other end from the withdrawal symptoms, and when you start using again, you ll initially get a noticeably stronger effect Keep using it, and soon you ll be back to your previous baseline reaction, as you become rehabituated.Pollan finds this rather alarming than I do, but I think I know why Pollan likes and drinks coffee, strong coffee, while I drink tea and soda A cup of coffee typically has about twice as much caffeine as a cup of tea or a can of caffeinated soda Pollan says this isn t that significant drink two cups of tea, and you re just as caffeinated as after one cup of coffee I disagree You get that caffeine dose faster, drinking one cup of coffee, rather than two cups of tea, even if you drink the cup of coffee or the cup of tea at the same rate of speed There s a good chance that you ll pause, at least briefly, between your cups of tea That slows your consumption a bit So I think it s likely that the amount of caffeine used, and the degree of addiction, is a bit less It isn t as alarming, to go back to it after a period of abstention, when you re stopping and restarting tea, rather than coffee.Let s note here that that s my theory, and I m a librarian and a tea drinker, not a scientist engaged in actual research in this area I think it s logical I don t know that it s necessarily true.Another point I think is relevant, though, is that no one that has a real reason, by which I mean a reason that matters to the person doing it, to quit caffeine, either temporarily or permanently, has any real difficulty in doing so We love our caffeine, but the addictive effect, while real, is comparatively mild Compare it to nicotine, just for instance Or to alcohol, for an alcoholic rather than a social drinker But the fact remains that we have organized much of our economic lives around access to one little molecule found chiefly in the coffee and tea plants, and in doing so we have devoted immense resources to the cultivation of these plants, spreading them to regions they never grew in before we discovered how they affect us.We exploit these plants, but they re exploiting us, too And they might be getting the better of the bargain.This is a fascinating little book, and well worth the time it will take you to listen to it Recommended.I got this book free from Audible as part of their Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.


  7. says:

    IN SHORT Not well supported even for some drastic claims Seems the effects are either exaggerated or they affect the author far than anyone else I know that one cup after him being off caffeine seemed to give him a Woodstock level experience , and he should have addressed drinking caffeine ONLY in the AM and never later Good info, entertaining, but very flawed for real understanding.DETAILS I m always looking out for good information on caffeine, and this has some good information The presentation was interesting and covered some good areas, some of which I knew and others that I didn t, so I learned There are a few things that stopped me from having an even greater appreciation for this, and these points caused me to be less than satisfied, because the author Pollan clearly knows a lot yet didn t even provide some tiny extra tips further reading or references that he could have without adding much time.Just a side note that may help I ve gone off caffeine for months, then started using it again choosing it for the taste, when NOT addicted and NOT for productivity I never had the highly charged experience that the author conveys Maybe his body reacts differently, but there were so many parts of this audiobook that seemed exaggerated e.g almost equating caffeine to narcotics that I think he was likely exaggerating here too, yet I can t prove that Maybe his experience was exactly as conveyed.ONE the author maybe to make it interesting seems to almost equate caffeine to narcotics opioids Really Come on Caffeine is addictive, no question about that, but opioids It s not even close If they are closer than I m thinking a steep claim , then you really should provide references, further reading or some kind of evidence OTHER than both are addictive TWO when addressing the negative sides, the author seems to equate caffeine use with caffeine use throughout the day which is Just NOT how many use it I use it first thing in the morning and it s VERY rare to have it later in the day because I want to sleep well at night The author correctly highlights that it stays in your system for 12 hours The author did not say this, but I will caffeine is of a 4 hour half life type thing, so in 12 hours, the caffeine in your system will be 1 8th what you consumed Pollan never addressed the impact of this better habitual use of only AM Instead, he ONLY addressed the negative of having it at lunch or beyond, and the related sleep disruption That s highly biased toward what one might consider a MISUSE of caffeine THREE He mentions free trade in a negative light like it s a total sham Maybe it is I have no way to independently verify the efficacy Yet, he didn t support that view in any way No references No reasoning No further information So I m forced to reduce his opinion to a little above hearsay above, because he has studied caffeine than I That s a pretty damning stance to leave unsupported Since he did not support it, I still suspect free trade agreements are worse than I wish, but do have positive effects Come on, Pollan, throw me at least one reference here.FOUR The author assumes that people do this for the productivity I m sure many do But many of us drink coffee for the taste and if decaf tasted as good and kept as long, I would switch, but in my experience, it either tastes terrible immediately, or it spoils faster and then taste terrible I may get productivity, but that s not why I m doing it No, my mind was not clouded by the drug I made that choice while NOT addicted, and decided that the taste was worth having it.To be honest, I wrestled with the rating, because I m glad to have heard it maybe a 4 star glad But this is going out to others who either may MISUSE it to support their vendetta OR are frightened off by this narcotic level danger UGH So my rating stands But listen to it anyway it does have good info.


  8. says:

    This book is brief, and broad in scope I would classify it as a cursory glance at the human history of caffeine use, with an eye towards how it immediately effects us today Basically the author decides to quit caffeine for three months, and then re introduce it into his life This details some of the trials and tribulations of this self experiment, as well as some brief discussion about the effects of caffeine mostly with respect to sleep and sleep quality , an overview of western society s history of usage and the cultural impact of our favorite xanthine I should say the most interesting bits to me were really about the history He goes back to people s usages of coffee in Constantinople circa 700 ad, and then details it s spread throughout Europe during the colonialism boom between 1500 and 1800 He talks about how puritans viewed caffeine as being in opposition to alcohol, how coffee houses gave rise to rebellious and revolutionary thinking, lively debates, and even acted as news networks in many European cities he talks about London in detail here He also mentions some English authors famous for turning copious amounts of coffee into words Balzac , which reminded me of Erdos and Amphetamine.He goes on to delve into how tea took over coffee in England, and how caffeine really is the perfect drug for the modern world I ve seen this line of thinking explored before, and I do think there is some legitimacy to it People s tools reflect their values, but people s behaviour also reflects what kinds of tools they use every day Think of how the internet and computers have changed how we communicate, think and remember things Think about how coffee increases spotlight focus and helps us to maintain motivation through repetitive and menial tasks Tea, and even Toboacco, could likely be lumped in here with being responsible in part for our fast paced, pro industry society that values the productive worker above all else These style of drugs really do represent the values we hold so dear in modern day societies quite well.He also talks about how caffeine ruins your Deep Sleep in particular Even if taken early in the morning the average quarter life of caffeine is 12 hours That means if you consume a venti Starbucks coffee at 10 am somewhere in the range of 300 mg of caffeine , you will still have 75 mg in your blood at 10 pm That is not an amount to sneeze at, and as such still significantly impacts your sleep quality This in turn makes you likely to imbibe the next day.All neat stuff, but I agree that this book should be longer I think there is history to talk about Aztecs, Maya, China w.r.t tea, etc , science to explore comparing it to other stimulants, it s effect on focus, memory, sports performance, thermogenesis, and time perception , as well as different forms of it other than tea and coffee guarana, yerba mate, chocolate, and pure caffeine Still well written and insightful, but it feels like an essay than a book.


  9. says:

    The Good Engaging overview of the history, science, and economics of coffeeThe Bad Limited discussion of tea, despite the generic title caffeine The Literary Lots of references to add to your reading listCaffeine we drink multiple doses in our daily coffee or tea, and let our children consume it in the form of soda In a little over two hours, Michael Pollan discusses history, science, and economics of the most used drug in the world in this February Audible Original.One of the things I love about Pollan is his personal investigative style for a story In How to Change Your Mind, Pollan ingests multiple hallucinogenic substances In Caffeine, he quits caffeine cold turkey, then reintroduces it all at once after three months, sharing his personal experience along the with the research The history of caffeine in human history is good, but the material isn t new to me, having read and previously reviewed A History of the World in 6 Glasses.The science highlighted is great and includes both the direct effects of caffeine on the brain, as well as some indirect, with many individual studies referenced Did you know bees prefer caffeine spiked nectar Many studies support the conclusion that daily caffeine intake correlates with a reduced rate cancer and heart disease and Parkinson s At this point in the short reading, I felt pretty good about my daily caffeine consumption But when sleep experts discuss the detrimental effects of any caffeine, and Pollan adds in the global economics of coffee production, I began to contemplate giving up caffeine entirely.In the end, Pollan comes back to the idea that caffeine is drug we need to recognize as such He reintroduces coffee into his own life after three months, hoping to use it only periodically for maximum benefit, but slides down that slippery slope into his daily cup The thing is, your daily cup gives you a little lift, but mostly the feeling you experience is the suppression of withdrawal since the metabolism of caffeine is nearly identical with the chemicals related to our natural circadian rhythms.My only gripe is the lack of discussion of tea Tea has less than half the caffeine levels of coffee, and the ritual of tea is far from a culture of addiction What are the pharmacological studies surrounding tea What are the modern economics of tea production For such a short book, I highly recommend to any Audible subscribers who contribute to the estimated two billion cups of coffee consumed every day readwellreviews.com


  10. says:

    A study on caffeine withdrawal quickly leads to the history of caffeine s existence and its interaction with nature, especially human beings Michael Pollan writes and narrates a delightful book that informs and entertains his audience The ancient use of coffee and tea differs today in Western Civilization but still has its spiritual bond and romance with Oriental cultures The obvious effect of coffee on stamina, memory, and enthusiasm makes the addictive drug in these products, caffeine, the worldwide leader in daily use and abuse Leaders of industry give caffeine to their workers for better production and greater profits Those who harvest the caffeine laden crops employ slaves and traders to meet supply and demand Sugar turns out to be a related crop in that its use in tea and coffee creates a greater demand for these products It is fair to say that caffeine shapes our history in making giants of industry on the backs of slavery.In the Civil War, the North make sure their soldiers drink caffeine issuing 30 pounds of coffee per month for each one Some commanders make their men fill their canteens with coffee before battle This is the opposite of the South who are denied coffee rations among other luxuries like, shoes, ammunition, food Historians say that Southerners tire easily and harbor feelings of frustration and depression because of their circumstances It is possible that caffeine helps the North win the war This reviewer enjoys the narration and the honesty of this story, itself Caffeine positively affects so many in the world today Its story is ongoing in societies, international relations, transportation, economies, and cultures It is all so familiar in an individual s life that it is taken for granted, unless medical concerns raise one s attention to its effects Having said this, it is time for this patron to pursue his third cup this morning.


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Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World Acclaimed Author And Journalist Michael Pollan Whose Number One New York Times Best Sellers Include The Omnivore S Dilemma And How To Change Your Mind Offers His Latest, Provocative Look Into The Profound Ways What We Eat Affects How We Live In Caffeine How Caffeine Created The Modern World, Pollan Calls Caffeine The Most Used Drug In The World One We Give Our Children In The Addictive Form Of Soda, And Consume Ourselves In Multiple Daily Doses Of A Cup Of Tea Or Coffee By One Estimate, Than Million Adult Americans Drink Coffee Daily He Takes Us On A Journey Through The History Of The Drug First Discovered In A Small Part Of East Africa, And Within A Century And An Addiction Affecting Most Of The Human Species Caffeine, It Turns Out, Has Changed The Course Of Human History Pollan S Reporting Reveals How Caffeine Has Won And Lost Wars, Changed Politics, And Dominated Economies He Asserts, With The Support Of Voluminous Research, That The Industrial Revolution Would Have Been Impossible Without It The Science Behind Our Caffeine Addiction Forms The Fascinating Backdrop To This Definitive Look At An Insidious Drug That Hides In Plain Sight With His Wide Ranging Talents To Entertain, Inform And Perform, Michael Pollan S Caffeine Is Essential Listening In A World Where An Estimated Two Billion Cups Of Coffee Are Consumed Every Day