13 March 2008

In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan uses this book to try to convince readers to eat food. The first two sections of the book set up the arguments for why you should follow his eating suggestions in the last section of the book. The suggestions, based around seven words- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."- are pretty much what they should be- eat good quality read food (not processed or refined), local and organic, have a garden, eat slowly, don't buy things with ingredients you don't recognize, cook your own food (as long as you're not the type of cook who starts with a can of cream of mushroom soup- I loved that line), etc.

I don't necessarily think nutritionalists and his related people are as bad as Pollan makes them out to be; I was already fully aware of all of his suggestions and had been hearing them from those nutritionalists. And despite his love for native diets, they weren't perfect because they often lacked variety. Yes, they often sufficed, but we can do better. And he used the French as an example far too often. There are plenty of other food cultures in the world that he could have used to make those example a little more interesting.

It's a good book. Recommended.


  1. I liked the book. However, he is not talking to the right audience. Generally, people who are educated read Michael Pollan. They can ferret out the correct information and make sound choices regarding their food intake.

    It would be nice if someone would write to the other end of the spectrum. Those without a lot of education and could hear the kinds of things Mr. Pollan is saying on their terms. The poor listen to the generalists regarding food intake, get food stamps and voucher programs and eat the most horrible diets. It is unfortunate at best.

  2. Or maybe revamp food stamps so it's easier to eat better on it.

    But that's very wishful thinking.