In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food

An Eater's Manifesto

Book - 2008
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"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." Looking at what science does and does not know about diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about what to eat, informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the nutrient-by-nutrient approach.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2008
Description: 244 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9781594201455
1594201455
Branch Call Number: 613.2 Pol
Additional Contributors: Pollan, Michael. In defense of food

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m
maiki69
Jun 13, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF FOOD is Michael Pollan's manifesto for all who eat food. Striving to strike nutritional balance, Pollan in turn issues an indictment of the commercial food industry's practices and processes. IN DEFENSE OF FOOD offers instruction for a better diet, planet and life simply by engaging in the backstory of food.

z
zipread
Mar 10, 2021

Michael Polan is the guru of food. Real food. And he advocates for the eating of real food. His guiding mantra is “eat food”. By that he means real food; food that is recognizable as having come from a plants. His plants have not been genetically anythinged: they have not been adulterated. Avoid factory food that is more like the product of a chemistry set than the product of a farm. Don’t eat any food that comes with a list of ingredients, especially with more than five items in that list. Don’t eat any food with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Avoid products with high-fructose sugars and avoid refined grains.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Sage advice.
Never boring, never without intent, Polan once again offers up sound advice about how how we eat affects us and how it affects our environment. We are linked and how and what we eat, in addition to having a huge affect on our bodies goes well beyond sating our thirst and hunger as well as our messing with our health also has a wider effect on the nature that sustains us.
Polan rocks!
A must read.

m
mikey69
Jun 02, 2020

Pollan's manifesto can be summed up in seven words: Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants. If that sounds like granola and rye crisp to you, you're not using your imagination. Extremely - and deservedly so - critical of the commercial food industry.

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WendyLC
Apr 29, 2017

While the basic message here is good and seems logical (eat real foods, at meals, of the type your great-grandmother would recognize as food, don't eat packaged foods, and don't eat anything you can't pronounce), his anti-meat stance is bizarre. In the traditional diets he refers to, some of them eat meat (the French eat lots of cheese, too), a few eat almost nothing but meat (hunter gatherers might eat only meat six months of the year), and there's no science saying meat is bad for you, and he seems to be suffering from the "nutritionism" he skewers in much of this book, perhaps having a hangover from the "fat is bad for you" nonsense. Meat leaves you full for longer, and some cultures and individuals like a lot of it, and it is actual real food.

Sure, meat--red meat in particular--is horrible for the environment, but that's not what this book is about. It's about health and getting rid of the fifty years of nonsense reductionist nutrition science. So why doesn't he?

s
sorensje
Jan 16, 2017

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." is the main take away and he doesn't expand into each of these 3 elements until the end. Much of the book is about nutritionism and how whole food has been broken down into separate properties that do or don't affect our health, it seems everything is almost up for debate. Mainly eat whole food that isn't processed, doesn't have generally more than 5 ingredients listed and things you don't know or can't pronounce. Smaller portions, more plants for the nutrients you miss out on through processing. Eat slower and be more in tune with your body telling you its full. Shop more at farmers markets to cut down on chances of buying processed food. Start a home garden. Buy eggs that have been pastured. Buy beef that's been grass finished.

k
KathyS82
Oct 01, 2015

Interesting take on our current western diet. It made me think about things differently. Being from a Slovakian background we use food to show affection and love cooking for our family. Food brings us pleasure and isn't just about nutrition. Good principles to apply.

s
stewstealth
May 10, 2014

A very concise and thoughtful look at the problems in North American ( Western Diet ) food production and delivery. A very sensible, though still difficult, recommendation for healthy eating. Though this book is specifically about food growing and food processing it encapsulates many problems in our society outside of the scope of the book. Should be read by everyone.

r
ReadRobin
Mar 03, 2014

The SPL has several more copies of this book in the Large Print edition--I recommend it if you are tired of the long waiting list for the regular edition. Excellent book and good read.

h
hagrid46
Jun 27, 2013

I have read a brazillian articles and books on the internet, from the library, and purchased on nutrition. This book captures, condenses and presents a simple, sensible, effective approach to eating. Rather than guidelines it is more like a North Star to help us navigate through the myriad of new fads, research, products and advertising. For example if your great grandmother would not recognize it don't eat it. If you can't pronounce and don't know what the ingredients are, don't eat it. If there are more than 5 ingredients don't eat it. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. He explains what he means by food. It is sad to realize that he needed to explain what food is and what it is not. He reviews the diverse, indigenous diets around the world that keep different populations healthy. The key is always that they are eating real food, no matter whether it is high or low fat or high or low carbohydrates or high or low protein.
This is an easy read. I enjoyed it immensely and will consider buying it or his next book, just to keep myself grounded when I start to be swayed by the newest research. Eating is not complicated, but finding real food may be.

m
meldaravaniel
Jun 20, 2012

I have been recommended this book by several people and was glad I finally got around to reading it. There is a lot of information about food and nutrition floating around out there. I was especially confused by the recent commotion over high fructose corn syrup. Some people were saying it was perfectly safe, others were saying it wasn't, but no one had any proof to their claims. As a scientist, that bothered me. In this book, Pollan starts out by giving a history of 'nutritionism.' He then talks about the more recent happenings in food, including discussing the 'cults' of fats, carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids, and even high fructose corn syrup. Just as you're feeling as though you won't ever be able to eat healthfully, he gives a detailed explanation of how to do just that and why you should do it.

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m
maiki69
Jun 13, 2021

Better eats.

m
mikey69
Jun 02, 2020

Who doesn't need to eat? With IN DEFENSE OF FOOD: AN EATER'S MANIFESTO (Penguin Press, $21.95), author Michael Pollan weaponizes our diets. Advocating for healthy, sustainable food choices (yeah, that steak ain't gonna cut it), he inspires us to do better, while tearing the factory food industry a new arse.

Kobetsky Mar 06, 2012

Eat food.
Not too much.
Mostly plants.

Real food -- the kind of food your great-grandmother would recognize as food - is being undermined by science on one side and the food industry on the other, both of whom want us focus on nutrients, good and bad, rather than actual plants, animals and fungi.

According to author Michael Pollan, the rise of "nutritionism" has vastly complicated the lives of American eaters without doing anything for our health, except possibly to make it worse. Nutritionism arose to deal with a genuine problem -- the fact that the modern American diet is responsible for an epidemic of chronic diseases, from obesity and type II diabetes to heart disease and many cancers -- but it has obscured the real roots of that problem and stood in the way of a solution.

In 200 pages, Pollan outlines the challenge and offers a straightforward manifesto -- "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." -- as well as practical advice on how to accomplish these deceptively simple goals.

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m
maiki69
Jun 13, 2021

IN DEFENSE OF FOOD offers instruction for a better diet, planet and life simply by engaging in the backstory of food.
http://www.penhead.org/

m
mikey69
Jun 02, 2020

Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.
http://www.penhead.org/

b
birchpoint5
Aug 27, 2012

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

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cmills10
Aug 22, 2011

cmills10 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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