Nov 19, 07
People who eat
Read in November, 2007
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
So begins In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Michael Pollan's informative, frightening, and ultimately inspiring new book. Pollan explores the dangers of nutritionism and traces how we became a culture of fat people eating "Heart Healthy!" Fritos in our cars--and/or a culture of eaters obsessed with health, and yet eating food-like substances that are in fact incredibly harmful to our bodies. He urges us to to ignore the noise of diet fads and journalists (uh, except him) and return to whole foods, prepared ourselves and enjoyed at the table with family and friends. Eating is more than just fueling the body.
Since this book fell into our laps, Patrick and I have been making regular trips to the farmers market to buy not only local fruits and vegetables, but also grass-finished beef (rather than beef made from industrial feedlot cows who are forced to eat corn and pumped with antibiotics), for we're not only what we eat, but also what we eat eats.
It's been a joy to discover turnips and parnips, and to experiment with various eggplants (so many sizes and shapes!), and to try a bison burger. Patrick and I have always been big cooks, and we stay away from fast food and twinkies and the like, but we have come to see that spending more time and money on food makes even more sense than we originally thought. We hope to start an herb garden soon. Yea!
I gave this book only 4 instead of 5 stars because its lack of narrative made it sometimes difficult to a fiction reader like myself. I appreciated all the information, however, and don't think Pollan could write it any other way. It is a manifesto, after all!