The Botany of Desire Test | Final Test - Hard

Michael Pollan
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The weedy _________ potatoes on the edges of Andean farms caused changes in the strains of potatoes which would grow.

2. Genetic ____________ is the catchall term used to describe the various unexpected effects that misplaced or unregulated foreign genes can have in an environment.

3. What kind of storm took place in December of 1999, causing the gardens of Versailles to be ruined?

4. Gene flow normally occurs between closely related __________, so it seems that the Monsanto varieties will not spawn superweeds.

5. The Dutch genius for horticulture leftover from the ________ combined with the influx of new seeds.

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Heath avoid the purchases of many inputs on his farm so that he can save money?

2. What are the various ingredients which might be used in witches' spells?

3. Why are cats so drawn to catnip, according to the research that Pollan does after seeing how his cat response to using this herb?

4. What happens to the animal in the wild who decides to eat hallucinogens and thus takes in the toxins of these plants?

5. Describe the experience Pollan had when the police almost found his large marijuana plants in his backyard?

6. What are some of the possible genetically modified food advances people might see in the future, according to Pollan?

7. As the various lands in Europe began to rely on the potato, what were the positive benefits of this situation?

8. What is the rationale that Pollan gives for growing pot as he decides to do when it is not as much of a legal issue?

9. What does Pollan begin to realize after the powerful storm that ruined a part of the famous gardens of Versailles?

10. After a few days of drenching rain, what did the NewLeaf potato plants look like in Pollan's garden?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

While the Potato Famine was devastating, one could say it helped to shape modern day American society.

Part 1: Why do you think the Potato Famine changed the U.S. society and population?

Part 2: What might have happened if the Potato Famine had never occurred?

Part 3: Do you think the Potato Famine was necessary in order for the United States to become a success?

Essay Topic 2

Americans seem to have a clear idea as to what a 'normal' potato might look like.

Part 1: Why do you think Americans have been brought up to think of the potato in that one way?

Part 2: How do you feel about the potato? What do you think a potato should look and taste like?

Part 3: Do you feel the potato is an essential part of your diet? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

The legend of Johnny Appleseed is something which the author decides is more nostalgic than something which might be true.

Part 1: What are the value of stories such as the one of Johnny Appleseed?

Part 2: What is the meaning of the Johnny Appleseed story for you in your own life and experiences?

Part 3: Do you think that Johnny Appleseed actually existed? Does it even matter?

(see the answer keys)

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