If you care about your health, if you want to feed your family well, or if you love to eat, then you must read this book.
Last year we read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and it shook the table on which many of us eat, completely changing our dietary habits. We also had some of the best conversations in the Club we had all year. I anticipate this book doing the same, and I can’t wait to get started.
In Defense of Food explores the way we eat today, and how we should eat differently. Pollan’s simple mantra — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” sounds easy enough, but in his dissection of each statement, he turns the light on why eating well is not as simple as it should be.
But it’s not discouraging. It’s encouraging. His voice is one of reason, of simplicity, of logic, and it makes you smack your forehead with agreement. In short, it’s a great book.
Now, it’s different than AVM of last year. That was a memoir, written by a novelist. This is an exposé, written by a journalist. So get ready to hit the ground running when you open the front page.
Here are some thoughts regarding this book, taken from a review on his site:
“Food. There’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?
“Because most of what we’re consuming today is not food, and how we’re consuming it — in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone — is not really eating. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances” — no longer the products of nature but of food science. … In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.
“But if real food — the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food — stands in need of defense, from whom does it need defending? From the food industry on one side and nutritional science on the other. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat, a question that for most of human history people have been able to answer without expert help. …Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals.”
So reserve your copy of In Defense of Food at your local library, pick it up at a used bookstore, or order it off Amazon asap. And remember, if you use the Amazon links mentioned here, you’ll help support the Book Club and other SLM endeavors.
Are you going to read In Defense of Food with us? What are you looking forward to the Book Club discussing over these next few weeks?