Gearing up for the next Book Club selection: In Defense of Food

In a week and a half — May 6, to be exact — the Book Club is starting up again. Our next selection? Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

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 … In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion.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.”

Join Us

Care to join the Book Club? Great! There’s nothing you need to do. Just start reading, and show up for discussions online. Head here for all the details you need.

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?

top photo source
Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. This is a great statement….“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.” Very interesting.

    I’m in because I think that I eat very nutritiously and prepare the same for my kids but I’d like to know if my choices are really that good. Can’t wait to start!
    .-= Tina @ Ride On Toys´s last blog ..The Schwinn Roadster Tricycle Has A Low Center Of Gravity For Added Safety =-.

  2. Can’t wait! Been really looking forward to this one.
    .-= nicole aka gidget´s last blog ..Tia’s Baby Shower =-.

  3. Good choice for a book! I found it interesting and eye opening. I hope you and your book clubbers enjoy it. 🙂

  4. Got my copy of IDoF yesterday! I’m looking forward to the discussion and read very much. I can see that Pollan’s writing is going to be easy to absorb and am ready to be inspired!
    .-= Aimee @ Simple Bites´s last blog ..Weekend Reading =-.

  5. I had a chance to read this last year, and it was every bit as interesting and thought-provoking as promised! I highly recommend it for every mama out there!
    .-= Jamie ~ Simple Homeschool´s last blog ..Will This House Get Cleaned Before the Kids Graduate? =-.

  6. This looks fabulous I love a book that challenges our thought process a bit!!! Not to mention what an excellent quote: “Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals.”
    .-= se7en´s last blog ..Saturday Spot: A Celebratory Dinner and a Snippet on Knysna… =-.

  7. I should also mention that those of you who’ve read this book awhile ago are still very welcome to contribute to the Club discussions. 🙂

  8. Looks like a great book. I just reserved my copy at the library!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Yard Sale Season =-.

  9. I bought this book in anticipation of joining the book club discussions, and I’ve already finished it! We are looking to make some health changes, and this definitely has me thinking about food in an entirely different light. I’m looking forward to learning even more from the discussions!

  10. I purchased and read this book just about a month ago. It has really shifted the way I think about food…to not think of it as a conglomeration of these nutrients and vitamins that could be extracted and eaten in some other form, but as its own entity with currently-unfathomable properties, including its own unique combination of vitamins and nutrients in it. Plants are not simply the sum of their parts. I hope everyone else reads it…I highly recommend it!
    .-= Nikki Moore´s last blog ..Growing up and needing new stuff (and orange furry monsters) =-.

  11. I’ve heard of this book, but I haven’t read it yet. Maybe now would be a good time!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..One stitch at a time, taken patiently. =-.

  12. I really like Michael Pollan. Great book choice! One book I also would recommend is “Real Food: What To Eat and Why” written by Nina Planck, a fellow mama and real food enthusiast.
    .-= vinajoy´s last blog ..Be Doubly Generous This Mother’s Day: Go Global =-.

  13. What a fun idea! I just read this one this winter, and it has changed many of my perceptions about food–while strengthening others.

    The saddest part is that here in France, people used to NOT fall into many of the traps Pollan describes . . . in ten short years, I’ve seen that all start to change.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Saying “NO” to Fitting in. And weekly post picks. =-.

  14. I am looking forward to joining the discussion! We try to live by the 5 principles details in the book and look forward hearing what others thought about Pollan’s thoughts!
    .-= Heather Brooks´s last blog ..How does your garden grow? =-.

  15. I’m finishing up Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and am looking forward to starting In Defense of Food with the book club. The movie Food Inc really was my final push toward making changes and I hope this book study will help propel those changes along.

    Looking forward to some great discussion!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Congratulations to The Green Hour Book Giveaway Winners =-.

  16. Ooh, this looks like a good one, based on the Amazon reviews. I look forward to participating!
    .-= Kelli´s last blog ..I got the spring cleaning blues =-.

  17. “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.”

    Sounds like I must then! 😉 I always enjoy reading and discussing healthier ways of eating. I’m always amazed at what passes for food these days. 😉
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Around The World Family Travel Soultravelers3 =-.

  18. I’ve read this and think it’s a great book. I may re-read it for the club (once I can dig it out of a box, my husband and I are moving cross-country Thursday). You should consider Real Food by Nina Planck for a future book club.

  19. I love this book! I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thought on it.

    I’d like to add this…

  20. I read “AVM” last summer and have recommended it to everyone I know. Thanks for this suggestion! If I don’t get to it now, I will definitely add it to my vacation reading list.
    .-= WorkingMom´s last blog ..Little Rewards =-.

  21. If I can get my hands on a copy, YES. It is ALWAYS checked out at every library here! Ok, not always and not everywhere, but it is harder to track down than it should be!
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog ..[haircut results] =-.

  22. Love it! I have the book but haven’t done more than use it as a resource for blog posts. This may be the motivation I need to start on page one…

    🙂 Katie

  23. I’ve heard great things about this book and am about to order it. As I live in Romania, I won’t have it in time for the discussion, but will be sure to archive whatever is available after I’ve done my own reading!

    • Boy, do I know what that’s like. For our most recent book, 7 Habits, I participated in the Book Club at the beginning by downloading it via Audible. I had it instantly, though I was thousands of miles from any English bookstore.

      Just a tip! 🙂

  24. I sometimes look at the food label on a highly processed food and I am just amazed. I have to agree – this is not food.
    .-= Bryony Boxer´s last blog ..Overly Generous Grandparents =-.

  25. I can’t wait. I got this book about a month ago, and could not put it down. Not only is the information impactful, but it is just highly readable. I was done in about a day. I thought my family ate reasonable well before, but we’ve changed so much. Right down to making my own pancake syrup. I’m looking forward to reading it again.

  26. Oh, this one is supposed to be really, really good. Might be time to join the Book Club!

  27. I just finished the audio CD of In Defense of Food.
    It really helped me become more aware of my eating habits.
    I read AVM for my own bookclub LY and hosted a locally grown dinner in honor of the book, the rhubarb crisp dish was amazing!
    Looking forward to the bookclub!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..The new HGTV Green Home! =-.

  28. Great to hear you are tackling this book! I bought it a few weeks ago on the recommendation of someone from another health/fitness blog, but it’s been sitting there waiting for me to pick it up. So I’ll join you guys, if that’s ok!
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..Day Four, Part One. Figuring It Out. =-.

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