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

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
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's review
Nov 19, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: 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!
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Edan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Ugh, never!

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been meaning to read that book. Barbara Kingsolver's new book also seems to be similarly inspiring people to change their lifestyles (although her writing style can be somewhat irritating).

We just finished killing and gutting three hundred turkeys--four twelve- and thirteen-hour days--and while I can barely lift my arms above my head, I am thrilled that three hundred families (with the means to buy such a bird) will be eating a locally and respectfully grown organic turkey. We live in such an isolated place--you either shop at the Wal-Mart or figure out which of your neighbors have milk or veggies or cheese or meat.

message 3: by Edan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Molly, this book doesn't come out until January, but his Omnivore's Dilemma is out now, and is really great.

Wow, 300 turkeys? Happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear. Those families are lucky...do they know they have a poet working the slaughter line?

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