Sunday, June 27, 2010

Books: In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.
"Food is the one thing that Americans hate to love and, as it turns out, love to hate. What we want to eat has been ousted by the notion of what we should eat, and it's at this nexus of hunger and hang-up that Michael Pollan poses his most salient question: where is the food in our food? What follows in In Defense of Food is a series of wonderfully clear and thoughtful answers that help us omnivores navigate the nutritional minefield that's come to typify our food culture. Many processed foods vie for a spot in our grocery baskets, claiming to lower cholesterol, weight, glucose levels, you name it. Yet Pollan shows that these convenient "healthy" alternatives to whole foods are appallingly inconvenient: our health has a nation has only deteriorated since we started exiling carbs, fats--even fruits--from our daily meals. His razor-sharp analysis of the American diet (as well as its architects and its detractors) offers an inspiring glimpse of what it would be like if we could (a la Humpty Dumpty) put our food back together again and reconsider what it means to eat well. In a season filled with rallying cries to lose weight and be healthy, Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."--is a program I actually want to follow. --Anne Bartholomew" taken from

I want to start by saying that I'm not big on following any diet plan or restricting my food options. I heard this was a good, informative book & that's why I got it. As far as information goes, I was impressed & I have a feeling that I might end up quoting random facts that I learned from it. He does have a good point in that you should be eating whole, "real" foods & that what your food eats (in cases of meat & dairy) is just as important as what you eat. And we do have the option to eat things that are organic or grass-finished or raised without hormones, although we might have to go to special stores to get those items and pay 2-3 times more for them.
As far as what I'm going to take from this book, I know that I will be checking nutrition labels & choosing the items with a shorter, easily understood ingredient lists. And also at least checking the prices of the more natural meats & dairy products to see if I can swing the shift from the cheaper, more conventional options.
This is a good book, very interesting & informative. Keeps your attention quite well & has a sense of humor. Worth a read

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