The author has very extensive research, much of it done in oriental countries, added by her own planting practice in the west. The book is a very usefThe author has very extensive research, much of it done in oriental countries, added by her own planting practice in the west. The book is a very useful reference (so I bought a copy, an exception to my habit of reading-but-not-owning)....more
Most points on eating habit and life style are good; however, they are also mostly common wisdom. They are not new or findings of the author's researcMost points on eating habit and life style are good; however, they are also mostly common wisdom. They are not new or findings of the author's research work. This book seems to tell Americans to be as smart as the French, just enjoy life and food, don't diet, don' work out, et voila, the fat is gone. This is too rosy.
I think the French are indeed not fat, but that is because they are French, not that they are smarter than the Americans. They are raised with rich foods, of which vast varieties of subtle flavors, aroma, textures, visual appearances help develop their sophisticated sensitivity in the brain and the sensory organs, so that they are for life stimulated more by these aspects of food as opposed to by the contents of salt, sugar, fat, and sense of filling. The absence of this kind of development is perhaps impossible to make up. The French walk every day such as from metro to their apartments without elevator, that kind of environment is also hard to match in most American places. The French spend a much larger portion of their income on fine food and fine dining as compared to the Americans, instead of focusing more on the next larger house, car, or boat; this cultural difference is also hard to level. The French have much more natural foods, richer in flavors and less in sugar, salt, fat, and hormones than the American counterparts. (A Parisian lady said that during a year studying in Los Angeles she had gained 10 kg even eating no meat.) How could the American food industry match that? Without these, some hard workout or diet are probably unavoidable, unless a major remedy can be found (Living abroad for some years? Reducing stomach surgically? Following Helen and Scott Nearings? ...).
By the way, the pronunciation of French phrases by the narrator of the audio book is hardly sufferable. ...more
Some parts are not based on the author's experience; other parts are mostly based on his farming in northern Ohio. Nevertheless he gives very clear anSome parts are not based on the author's experience; other parts are mostly based on his farming in northern Ohio. Nevertheless he gives very clear and detailed information on what he knows, which is quite broad in scope. And he is very outspoken against some concepts and practices based on "group thinking". ...more
A result of three or more years of extensive research, this book details the gain of the world by the giant American fast food corporations and theirA result of three or more years of extensive research, this book details the gain of the world by the giant American fast food corporations and their almost equally super concentrated corporate suppliers, at the multifaceted expense of humanity....more
A witty book based on a unique project. There are many thoughtful and thought-provoking questions and comments, not to mention a lot of good informatiA witty book based on a unique project. There are many thoughtful and thought-provoking questions and comments, not to mention a lot of good information about today's foods, the food industry, and many ridiculously unnatural aspects in them.
Here is an example of the author's sharpness and directness:
"A country with a stable culture of food would not shell out millions for the quackery (or common sense) of a new diet book every January. It would not be susceptible to the pendulum swings of food scares of fads, to the apotheosis every few years of newly discovered nutrient and the daemonization of another. It would not be apt to confuse protein bars and food supplements with meals or breakfast cereals with medicines. It probably would not eat a fifth of its meals in cars or feed fully a third of its children at a fast-food outlet every day. And it surely would not be nearly so fat. Nor would such a culture be shocked to discover that there are other countries, such as Italy and France, that decide their dinner questions on the basis of such quaint and unscientific criteria as pleasure and tradition, eat all manner of "unhealthy" foods, and, lo and behold, wind up actually healthier and happier in their eating than we are. We show our surprise at this by speaking of something called the "French paradox," for how cold a people who eat such demonstrably toxic substances as foie gras and triple crème cheese actually be slimmer and healthier than we are? Yet I wonder if it doesn't make more sense to speak in terms of an American paradox--that is, a notably unhealthy people obsessed by the idea of eating healthily." --Michael Pollan ...more