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Sunday, April 18, 2010

In Defense of Food (A Review)

My mom is on a calorie counting kick right now.

But Michael Pollan wouldn’t like that.

Pollan would tell you that counting calories on a Western Diet isn’t going to do your body very much good. Instead, he would tell you to eat food, but not too much and mostly plants.

According to Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto , these three simple phrases can get any eater away from the modern Western Diet and on the fast track to better health.

Initially, Pollan’s title might be misleading. Why does food need to be defended? Pollan’s lengthy but worthwhile introduction explains eating is under attack from nutritional science and the food industry.

When I chose to read this book, I won't lie, it was really because of the cover. This cover is absolutely perfect. It is simple and clever and has just the right spark of color. Once I dove into it's pages though, I dove in deep. Pollan won't let anyone be a shallow reader.

Instead, he takes the reader all the way back to the beginning of “the age of nutritionalism”, to explain the dangers of these attackers and how overtime, consumers have been taught to shop for nutrients instead of food, like calcium instead of milk.

After supplying readers with a history lesson in the food industry (and much personal commentary), Pollan fills the second part of the book with an eating guide following his three rules: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

I finished reading this book over spring break and when I returned to school, I needed to buy groceries. Trying to stick to Pollan’s guidelines was harder than I thought, especially on a student budget. But I think Pollan would agree that small steps are better no steps and now the veggie drawer in my fridge is stocked.

In the end, Pollan wants the reader to have a good meal. To wisely shop for food and not food products and to take the time preparing, eating and enjoying a meal. Which probably means making time in your schedule and room in your budget to allow those things happen. But according to Pollan, all those changes will be worth it for your taste and your health.


bridget said...

I saw that at Target yesterday. I am intrigued. I have been trying to get my fruit and veggie on lately. Haven't lost any weight yet, but lately I have felt better.
We should rendezvous soon. When do you graduate?

Alaina Buzas said...

I think you would really like this Bridg. It's really interesting and near the end of the book Pollan offers great advice on little things you can do to improve your diet.

(ps I graduate in August. So excited!)

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