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Must Read: In Defense of Food from Michael Pollan

Weekend Reading: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

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.

Join The Conversation
luxington luxington 9 years
I've been meaning to read his books for a while now. I'm the type of person who need to know exactly what's in my food, so this is right up my alley.
nikolem2 nikolem2 9 years
I LOVE this book. I saw Michael Pollan speak at a book signing about it and it was such a page turner for me, that I took a day off of work to finish reading it a few months ago!
chellybean chellybean 9 years
He just gave a lecture here, which I was lucky enough to catch. Love him!
HollHsoontobeC HollHsoontobeC 9 years
I've been a constant dieter my who life. This winter I heard this author give an interview on Oprah & Friends radio on Dr. Oz's show. I've really tried to lessen processed foods & increase veggies & fruits. I use to live on turkey lunchmeat, but cut that out too! I've lost that last 10lbs FINALLY! I feel healthier too! I try to eat meat only at dinner & mostly chicken. He talked about the importance of free-range meat & the more I hear about it the more I love it. For those of you who don't want to go all veggie, free range meat is best because the animals are healthier & carry more Omega 3's!
cowgirlredd cowgirlredd 9 years
his idea about what to eat is so simple and makes so much sense, this should be required reading!!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I cut back on processed foods several years ago and was amazed at not only the physical benefits but the emotional ones as well. Now I eat very little processed foods at all, they are not a staple in our home anymore.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I've read parts of his book and it's very interesting. I definitely try to stay away from processed foods that are "fortified" with vitamins/nutrients/etc. in an attempt to be "healthy", when in reality the best complete nutritious foods are found in nature...fruits, veggies, eggs, fish, nuts, etc.
Dagne Dagne 9 years
I've been hearing about this book a lot and I caught the interview he did on NPR. I may check it out at my library. Glad I'm not the only one who prefers to borrow, Moon. :)
moonischasingme1 moonischasingme1 9 years
I would also recommend people read his other book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and also--don't buy more stuff! Go to your library and borrow it!!!!
SarahPW SarahPW 9 years
this was a fabulous book- it is hard for me to believe that after all his research, he's still not a vegetarian. i also agree with the no-processed foods rule: i try to avoid them when i can. but i sure do love quorn chikn nuggets. it's hard to get away from all my fake meat products...but, it is definitely doable. great book!
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