[Reading] ➹ In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto Author Michael Pollan – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Michael Pollan s last book, The Omnivore s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time Pollan propos of Food: Kindle Ð Michael Pollan s last book, The Omnivore s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words Eat food Not too much Mostly plants Pollan s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us
In Defense PDF/EPUB or how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating,,. Actually, there is enough good material in this book that it probably warrants another star or two But I was so alarmed at the amount of misinformation here that one star is the best I can do Michael Pollan is right about some of the big stuff Nutrition research is badly flawed It has sometimes led us down the wrong road although it has also provided life saving findings The government is far too slow to change its recommendations and has strong ties to put it mildly to the food industr Actually, there is enough good material in this book that it probably warrants another star or two But I was so alarmed at the amount of misinformation here that one star is the best I can do Michael Pollan is right about some of the big stuff Nutrition research is badly flawed It has sometimes led us down the wrong road although it has also provided life saving findings The government is far too slow to change its recommendations and has strong ties to put it mildly to the food industry The same can be said of my own nutrition profession And obviously he is right that we should choosewhole foods and engage in practices that help us appreciate food a useful perspective even if it isn t a particularly cutting edge one But for the most part, Pollan s reasoning about nutrition and research was pretty unsophisticated and uninformed He carefully describes all of the reasons why nutrition research is flawed, and then employs some of the worst examples of research animal studies and completely uncontrolled observational approaches to support his own arguments He quotes nutrition professionals whose credentials and opinions are questionable at best Almost without exception, his observations on nutrition are wrong sometimes subtly so, sometimes overtly so, and sometimes in ways that are actually dangerous Pollan defends his right to provide nutrition advice because he speaks on the authority of tradition and common sense But, tradition and common sense will get you about 90% of the way to a healthy diet The other 10% can have unfortunate and Pollan really has no sense of this The last part of the book has recommendations about how to eat and shop Shop the perimeter of the grocery store is exactly the advice that was popular among nutritionists when I started in this field 30 years ago It s just as wrong now as it was then Why would you shop the perimeter of the store if you are supposed to be eating mostly plant foods Far better to shop the produce corner and then head to the interior for grains, beans, condiments, and spices Pollan doesn t want us to eat anything withthan 5 ingredients on the label So no prepared spaghetti sauce, salsa, fortified soymilk, or curry paste, all of which are perfectly healthful foods that play a central role in my diet Of course, I understand the spirit behind this and all of his recommendations he wants us to slow down, cookfrom scratch, usewhole food ingredients, fewer manufactured foods He s a big fan of the Slow Food Association, for whom he is a frequent speaker and which he admits can sometimes sound like an elitist club for foodies I m thinking this has something to do with the fact that it is an elitist club for foodies as a quick peek at their website shows Slowing down to cook and eat and enjoy food are good things, but there has to be room for a little bit of compromise and a sense of reality There is nothing wrong with eating pasta sauce from a jar or frozen vegetables or my favorite convenience food and I ll defend it to my death butternut squash soup from a box It s the way many busy responsible people cook and it s a perfectly healthful and acceptable way to eat I was disappointed that his entire discussion of the ethics of food choices fit into one single parenthetical sentence plus a footnote This from the man who wrote The Omnivore s Dilemma and who debated ethics with Peter Singer and lost the debate I realize this isn t what this book is about, but Pollan knows, far better than most people, the true cost in terms of animal suffering and environmental destruction of animal food production When he talks about how to eat, he is obligated to speak to that issue at least a little bit Pollan s opening mantra eat food, not too much, mostly plants is good advice There are other snippets of good advice in this book For me, it was all greatly overwhelmed by faulty and uninformed reasoning , the unnecessarily restrictive requirements for food choices, and the great amount of misinformation All in all, a disappointing book At least it was short a little shorter than my review, I think In the Buddhist tradition there is a level of hell whereby the dead, known as hungry ghosts, are trapped with enormous stomachs and tiny throats unable to swallow anything but the smallest bites of food Their particular brand of torture is that they are always eating and yet their hunger is never satisfied These hungry ghosts sound an awful lot like the modern American eater trapped in the unhealthy western diet demonized in Michael Pollan s In Defense of Food An Eater s Manifesto You may be In the Buddhist tradition there is a level of hell whereby the dead, known as hungry ghosts, are trapped with enormous stomachs and tiny throats unable to swallow anything but the smallest bites of food Their particular brand of torture is that they are always eating and yet their hunger is never satisfied These hungry ghosts sound an awful lot like the modern American eater trapped in the unhealthy western diet demonized in Michael Pollan s In Defense of Food An Eater s Manifesto You may be surprised that anyone felt they needed to defend food, since we all rely on it to survive But Pollan makes a clear distinction between the processed food like substances that fill our grocery aisles in glistening packages and real foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and unprocessed, natural foods Pollan argues that we eat way too much of the fake stuff, ignoring the foods that our bodies actually need Like the hungry ghosts, we just never feel satisfied At a clipping pace, Pollan examines both the field of nutritional science and the industrialization of food to show the reader just how we got to our particular brand of hell Then, thankfully, he offers us a way out.Instead of being hungry ghosts, Pollan tells us we can practice thoughtful consumption He argues that the onslaught of nutritional science has taken the expertise out of the kitchen and into the laboratory, and too often isolates nutritional elements from the whole food that bore it Any of us who keep up on nutritional trends will be shaking our heads when he discusses the familiar irritation of being told this week to eat one thing and avoid another, only to be told later that we had it right the first time Instead of offering us a new trend in dieting, his solutions are both revolutionary and literally as old as time Eat food Not too much Mostly plants Pollan argues we should eat like our ancestors, before diabetes and heart disease reigned supreme and before high fructose corn syrup becamepopular to the American consumer than television Despite the dire evidence he presents in the book, his voice remains jocular and never dips into pessimism, though I did as a reader once or twice.Even if you are not a health nut, Pollan makes a good argument for adopting his method of eating The benefit of this thoughtful consumption isthan nutritional The eater will be practicing a lifestyle of environmental stewardship, optimal health, and respect for the time required to grow and prepare the food necessary for life The book, addictive as those processed foods Pollan does such a powerful job of damning, is difficult to put down, in part because you don t want to stop to eat anything until you know what you are supposed to eat after all The only caveat is that In Defense of Food offers so little compromise between the western lifestyle and the lifestyle Pollan requires the eater to adopt, which just may be the reality of the current food paradigm Maybe eating well is a revolutionary act in these times of microwavable meals and fast food paragons When you buy food it is no longer a given that it is real food, and you may have to be willing to make some major changes in your lifestyle to get the real food back onto your table and into your stomach Michael Pollan image from his site One of thepernicious aspects of nutritionism is that it encourages us to blame our health problems on lifestyle choices, implying that the individual bears ultimate responsibility for whatever illnesses befall him It s worth keeping in mind that a farpowerful predictor of heart disease than either diet or exercise is social class Pollan contends that Western society has replaced our relationship with food to a relationship with nutrition, to Michael Pollan image from his site One of thepernicious aspects of nutritionism is that it encourages us to blame our health problems on lifestyle choices, implying that the individual bears ultimate responsibility for whatever illnesses befall him It s worth keeping in mind that a farpowerful predictor of heart disease than either diet or exercise is social class Pollan contends that Western society has replaced our relationship with food to a relationship with nutrition, to our great loss Science has sought to figure out exactly what parts of foods do, and having figured out how this or that part functions, sought to replace the food itself with its nutritive parts As Doctor Phil might say, How s that working out for you Not well What Pollan calls the Western diet is a disaster, replacing actual nutrition with a manufactured diet that loses much of the actual benefit that real food provides This is not a book that offers a prescriptive diet He is not looking to sell a program, but to argue that the way we eat is out of whack The nutrition business is not about feeding people but about pushing product The results are raging epidemics of diabetes, heart disease and cancer Not that a return to anatural state would eliminate those entirely, but there is compelling research that indicates it would make a significant difference One interesting thing Pollan notes is that in different parts of the world, people do quite well with various types of diets There appears not to be a single best way to eat It does appear that there is a single worst way to eat and we have found it Read February 2008Posted October 29,2015 EXTRA STUFFThe author s personal, FB and Twitter pagesCheck out Eat Wild I am conflicted about this book On the one hand, I agree with Pollan s thesis food science has not served us well over the past 100 years, and we really should Eat Food Not too much Mostly plants I believe that partially because of Pollan s arguments, and the revelatory reporting he did for I hated reading this book And that s sad because I agree with his basic premise Just eat real food Not too much Mostly plants And I would add, try and get off your ass once in awhile But this book was excrutiating to read I read the first 50 pages, gave up, and went to the last section on his very basic food rules, gave up again His language was all black and white with blanket condemnations and blanket recommendations, ironic since that s what he condemns in scientific thinking and food I hated reading this book And that s sad because I agree with his basic premise Just eat real food Not too much Mostly plants And I would add, try and get off your ass once in awhile But this book was excrutiating to read I read the first 50 pages, gave up, and went to the last section on his very basic food rules, gave up again His language was all black and white with blanket condemnations and blanket recommendations, ironic since that s what he condemns in scientific thinking and food marketing Oddly, he comes off as so mucheven handed in his interviews.That said, his message is important but what s really going on isnuanced than presented As a dietitian, I agree that people should be able to figure out what to eat on their own I really should only have to meet with people with special medical conditions and dietary needs Instead, many of my patients haven t a clue and they rely on supplements, protein powders, and various bars to meet their needs It s crazy A balanced and varied diet of mostly veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins will meet your nutritional needs.I also agree with him about the nature of nutrition research The food frequency questionnaire is a crazy tool And don t even get me started on diet recalls Patients lie I used to think they lied to me but soon realized they re actually lying to themselves They really don t register and or are unwilling to own up to what they re eating But that s another topic Any research involving human beings is tough Test tubes are easier to control.I think that s what really bothered me about this book It came across as a good people vs bad people polemic Like all systems, however, there is usually some good and bad on all sides Food marketers sell what people buy If we wouldn t buy it, they wouldn t sell it On the positive side, that s why there isorganic food available these days There s a market for it and where there s a market, there s a marketer That s not to say there aren t some sleazy marketing practices that pervert what the market wants Just look at what s happening with organic food guidelines.As consumers, we bear some responsibility Food and diet have definately become fetishized We project so much onto our eating habits, including comfort, status, shame, and ego gratification Plus many people are looking for the quick, easy, and mindless route to healthy living so special diets, power foods, and quickie solutions sell I sometimes joke with my dietitian friends that we could make some real money with a crazy diet book that only allows red foods to be eaten on Monday and orange foods on Tuesday.Crazy gimmicks sell They relieve us of the burden of decision making When I first saw the Special K diet commercials, I thought there was no way that anyone who eat mostly Special K all day I was shocked when I met patients actually on that diet They liked it because they didn t have to think about what foods to eat Gimmicks also create the illusion that you re buying some secret that will keep you thin and healthy forever Eat less, exercisejust doesn t seem cutting edge enough for some people.If what you re looking isinfo on how crazy our food system is, try Marion Nestle s Food Politics If what you re looking for ispractical advice on a normal, balanced diet, try Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy or Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less And if you want to follow Michael Pollan s sage advice to cook , start somewhere easy like How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Like Mollie Katzen very wisely said, regardless of your eating philosophy, we need to eatveggies Eatplants Books like this make me afraid to eat Then they make me mad at the way I ve been eating Finally, they make me a better eater At the start, the idea seems simple Eat food Not too much Mostly plants When I read that I thought, okay I can stop reading I know that already, so I ve got this shit down.But what is food today It may not be what you think it is Most of what you find at the grocer s is not food That complicates things just a little bit, doesn t it Pollan complicates that sim Books like this make me afraid to eat Then they make me mad at the way I ve been eating Finally, they make me a better eater At the start, the idea seems simple Eat food Not too much Mostly plants When I read that I thought, okay I can stop reading I know that already, so I ve got this shit down.But what is food today It may not be what you think it is Most of what you find at the grocer s is not food That complicates things just a little bit, doesn t it Pollan complicates that simple eat food mantra a lot. Which is not to say In Defense of Food is a complicated read Indeed no, quite the opposite He actually does an excellent job at explaining it all in layman terms He even helped me figured out the glucose to triglicerides issue I have that two doctors failed to make me fully understand It s not Pollan s fault eating has become difficult The problem is that the seemingly simple act of eating these days isdifficult than it used to be for our grandparents due to the food engineering fiddling that s been happening the last few decades.There s oh so muchinfo I could lay down here for you, but you wouldn t want to bite into a rotten apple, so why would you want me too spoil this for you No, no, read In Defense of Food It s enjoyable, it s quick and it s full of information Ingesting this book will do your body good Michael Pollan is absolutely on to something with his central thesis namely, that the American diet has been taken over by edible foodlike substances ie, hyper processed foods and the American approach to health as it relates to eating has been taken over by nutritionism ie, the idea that food is nothingthan the sum of its nutrient parts He makes an excellent case that the current epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc are the inevitable result of this perverse relat Michael Pollan is absolutely on to something with his central thesis namely, that the American diet has been taken over by edible foodlike substances ie, hyper processed foods and the American approach to health as it relates to eating has been taken over by nutritionism ie, the idea that food is nothingthan the sum of its nutrient parts He makes an excellent case that the current epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc are the inevitable result of this perverse relationship with food and eating His proposed remedy is to Eat food Not too much Mostly plants In other words, eat whole, not processed foods concentrate on the quality of the eating experience rather than the quantity of food consumed and eat a wide variety of species, mainly fruits and vegetables But as with his previous book, The Omnivore s Dilemma, he fails to explain how anyone other than smug, affluent foodies with an abundance of time on their hands could possibly follow his recommendations He even laments the fact that Americans don t spendof their annual income on food He paints an admittedly appealing picture of long, leisurely meals made of fresh, local ingredients, enjoyed among friends over a glass or two of wine Great, I m sure that s no problem for his fellow professors at Berkeley, but how about for single parent households, two career families, families with lots of children, low income families, families who don t happen to live next to a farmer s market, etc Pollan s refusal to address these very real issues made the book rather ahem hard to swallow sorry 4 Another informative, entertaining audio on my lake walks Included in his final recommendations of what to consume a glass of wine with dinner I really like this guy. One of the most remarkable meals I ve ever eaten was here Now, Dunkeld is a long way to go for a meal, even if you do live in Melbourne and a ten course meal served over many hours with matching wines that costs an arm and three toes possibly isn t something everyone would think of as value for money However, unlike the said value for money meals I will never forget the evening I spent at this restaurant Fantastic food, remarkable wines and delight One of the most remarkable meals I ve ever eaten was here Now, Dunkeld is a long way to go for a meal, even if you do live in Melbourne and a ten course meal served over many hours with matching wines that costs an arm and three toes possibly isn t something everyone would think of as value for money However, unlike the said value for money meals I will never forget the evening I spent at this restaurant Fantastic food, remarkable wines and delightful company if that isn t the definition of the good life, what possibly could be And that question is at the heart of this book Every review of this book needs to quote Pollan s eating maxim, so let s get it over and done with now Eat food Not too much Mostly plants Actually, the real advice is this book is eat what your Neolithic ancestors evolved to eat and do so in a way that makes eating it a culturally significant part of your life, and not just a way to stuff calories into your face And that piece of advice can t be said too often.There was a time in human evolution when you could tell food was fit to eat because it smelt ripe and because it tasted sweet Food also had this weird way of going off I know you ll find this hard to believe, but real food actually used to spoil This was because the nutrients in real food were so appealing and appetising to other creatures even bacteria that the time window when it could be eaten by us was remarkably narrow.I m old enough to remember a time when bread would go stale This is very hard to explain to young people, but bread used to go hard if left uneaten for a few days Now bread can be covered in blue mould and still be soft and flexible Whatever THEY have done to bread now and they know who they are it could not reasonably still be called bread And this is a much of the point of the eat food advice Much of the food like products sold to us to eat simply isn t really food any.The problem is that at some stage we decided that if you want to have a food industry you need to organise it in such a way that food doesn t spoil The best way to achieve this is to make it unappetising to other creatures and you do this by removing most of the nutrients in the food But this food is unappealing to vermin because it is unappealing full stop So then they need to add stuff to it to fool the eater that it is actually worth eating Sugars and salts and oils and essences and foliate and azodicarbonamide On page 151 of this book Pollan provides a list of the ingredients in a loaf of Sara Lee s Soft Smooth Whole Grain White Bread Real bread, he points out, only requires four ingredients this Frankenstein variety has 36 A big part of our modern problem is that we are all Platonists when it comes to understanding food We want food to be about things and not about relationships I do need to quote this What would happen if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing andof a relationship In nature, that is of course precisely what eating has always been relationships among species in systems we call food chains, or food webs, that reach all the way down to the soil But we don t talk about beef or carrots or wine any, but trans fats and beta carotene and anti oxidants There is a wonderful bit where he talks about how Asian cultures turned an anti nutritious plant soy into a highly important source of protein by making it into tofu But our science thinks that it can isolate the soy proteins and these will be just as good for us when slapped into some hideous processed goo His point being that food is often only good for us in a cultural context of relationships between real foods I read an article once about how the carbohydrates in bread do interesting things with the proteins in beans and that this might be part of the reason why we quite like baked beans on toast.A few years ago they did a test to see if giving supplements of anti oxidants would help cancer patients So, they started handing out tablets with isolated anti oxidants in them and they found that they had to stop the trail because not only were the people on the treatment not doing any better than the people in the control group not receiving the anti oxidants, but they were actually doing worse much worse See what has happened here It is standard Western Science gone nuts We want there to be a reductionist answer Eating fruit makes you healthy, so what is it in the fruit that is so good Well, as you grow old your body produces free radical oxygen molecules and these destroy your DNA Fruit contains anti oxidants Therefore why don t we just skip the fruit and pump in the anti oxidants Well, because we don t know nearly enough about what we are doing is one answer.The point is that biological systems are both easier andcomplicated than that Rather than obsessively looking for the thing that delivers the health benefit in fruit and perhaps there is no thing , perhaps we would be better off looking at the fruit as a whole package, one which has evolved to both encourage us to eat it as we can then transport the plant s seeds and to make us healthy in the process so we will keep coming back to help transportseeds The lesson is to embrace complexity and diversity and this is actually the lesson of this entire book.What is the secret to French people eating lots of fats and still being slimmer than the average American or Australian or Brit Variety of diet and a culture that loves food and prefers dining to merely eating Is it any wonder that the slow food movement started in Italy and not in England Jamie Oliver not withstanding, there is something incredibly sad about our Anglo Saxon diet However, there was once a Starbucks on Lygon Street nothing gives mehope for Australia s future than the fact that this is no longer the case.His three rules are actually supplemented with a range of other valuable pieces of advice Spendmoney on food for smaller quantities is superb advice Food is to be enjoyed, and eating cakes that never go off that have been filled with cream that has never seen the inside of a cow simply can t be a recipe for enjoyment Especially not in a world where mangos are coming into season and female pigs are squealing to have their bellies roasted Have you ever eaten pork and mango together If you wanted to construct an argument to prove that God really doesn t like Jews or Muslims I think you have it right there.Eat at a table now there is a novel idea Did you know that one in five meals eaten by 18 to 50 year olds in the US are now eaten in a car I could make some sort of snide remark about that fact, but do I really need to Regard non traditional food with scepticism Like I said, real food has evolved to meet our needs, we have evolved to have our needs met by real food scientists particularly nutrition scientists only have the vaguest notions about how food works that is why we were once told to eat monounsaturated fats rather than saturated fats and now are told that the monounsaturated fats were worse for us than saturated fats could ever have been and next week If you want to see healthy people you have to look to people who have a healthy cultural cuisine the Italians, the Greeks, the French, the Japanese It is not olive oil or red wine, it is a complex and varied diet.Eatleaves than seeds I need to follow this advice he makes a powerful argument for it Seeds are easier to store and transport and so have taken over our culture which is obsessed with storing and transporting, but leaves have muchomega3 oils and our modern diet has meant a shift of the ratio of omega3 and omega6 in our bodies from about 1 to 3 a century ago to about 1 to 10 today This is a fascinating book it might even change the way you eat it might even save your life, if nothing else, it might make you enjoy food again If you are still able to squeeze your bum out of your chair and walk unassisted I would suggest a trip to your local bookshop so you can buy it I ve loved the other two books I ve read by Pollan on food, but this one was not just interesting this was essential reading Thoughts soon.
EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words Eat food Not too much Mostly plants Pollan s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us
- 205 pages
- In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
- Michael Pollan
- 11 July 2017 Michael Pollan