Category: Health & Nutrition
Copyright/published Year: 2008 by Penguin Press
What to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: a ì manifesto for our times
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to ì the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the ì well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the ì bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the ì balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through ì generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by ì food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and ì journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary ì confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary ì landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." ì These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels ì bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. ì Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to ì be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession ì with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to ì mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly ì counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your ì great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."
Writing In Defense of Food, and affirming the joy of ì eating, Pollan suggests that if we would pay more for better, ì well-grown food, but buy less of it, we'll benefit ourselves, our ì communities, and the environment at large. Taking a clear-eyed ì look at what science does and does not know about the links ì between diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about the ì question of what to eat that is informed by ecology and tradition ì rather than by the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach.
In Defense of Food reminds us that, despite the daunting ì dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, ì the solutions to the current omnivore's dilemma can be found all ì around us.
In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as ì the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can ì recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to ì food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us ì how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will ì enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be ì healthy.
About the Author
Michael Pollan is the author of four previous books, including ì The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, ì both New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to ì The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of journalism ì at Berkeley.
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