Christine's Reviews > In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
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Aug 28, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: anyone who requires food to survive.
Read in August, 2008

I think of this book as the unofficial companion to The Omnivore's Dilemma. But where the Dilemma focused on the science of food and food production and tended to drag on in many places, In Defense of Food is a short, easy read that packs a lot of punch and makes it's point in bite-sized sections.

Pollan does a great job of describing the history of nutrition and how we now rely on experts instead of culture to guide our eating habits. Most poignant was when he shows us how we talked more about nutrients and vitamins rather than avocados and carrots.

The crux of the book is the third and final section, where Pollan outlines and expands upon three simple rules for eating - eat food, mostly plants, and not too much. While his guidelines are easy enough to follow for those of us with the time and ambition to prepare meals from scratch and the ability to shop at farmers' markets and specialized stores, Pollan recognizes that this isn't possible for all people. He alludes to the fact that eating well is often a class issue but his concern is about changing the way individuals eat - not the way society is structured. He writes:

"Not everyone can afford to eat high-quality food in America, and that is shameful; however, those of us who can, should."

And Pollan is right - exercising our privilege to eat good food might, in the long run, make good food more available and accessible for everyone. And Pollan's main theme is one everyone can agree upon - that while humans can survive and thrive on a wide variety of diets and ways of eating, the one diet that is the exception to this rule is our Western diet. Reading Pollan's book is a great way to begin the process of changing your diet - and your health - for the better.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

nice review. kinda sounds of that lady who used to do The Buzz reviews for Nacogdoches!


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