I have a new food bible. It is not written by a chef, a nutritionist or a dietitian, but a journalist. The irony of dispensing nutritional advice as a journalist is not lost on the author of In Defense of Food ($21), Michael Pollan.
He actively wonders throughout this great little book on the circumstances that led food, the sustenance of life, to become so vulnerable that it needed to be defended from bad government policy and bad science. The complexities of government politics and macronutrients lead the US population down a slippery slope of very processed low fat foods.
There's more so
Pollan details our recent food history, back to The Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs or the late 1970s, and provides a little back history answering questions why cereal became a breakfast staple at the turn of the 19th century. If that sounds overly dry, like a piece of toast with no butter and jam, it is not. This book is a surprisingly exciting read. Yes, this eater's manifesto, as the sub title declares, is truly a page turner and it is useful too. Pollan has created some rules to serve as eating guidelines. The main tenet is simple: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Easy to follow and apply at every meal – these seven words could change your life. There is a catch though; Pollan doesn't consider processed food to be actual food. He's a label reader too and shuns unpronounceable ingredients.
The last third of the book breaks down his basic principle of eating into many sub rules for more guidance. The book is worth reading and the guidelines worth following. You can buy the book at Amazon, but chances are high it is for sale at your local bookstore too.