Saturday, August 1, 2009

In Defense of Food, review

I don't even know where to start in reviewing Michael Pollan's book. Anything I say won't bring the book justice, it's just too comprehensive (in fact, I want to read it a second time). He brings many things to light, I think, than we've bothered to think about (how a Western-style diet is killing us, how we need to get back to whole, un-processed foods). His manifesto is, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants".

Our food has become increasingly industrialized the past few years and it's becoming more rapid as time goes on. 'Add vitamin D to this, calcium to that'. Processed foods are becoming increasingly injected with what we should be obtaining from real, whole or raw food; all to benefit our fast-paced lifestyle and health craze to consume all the nutrients we can. No one cooks from scratch anymore. The more nutrients you can inject in a one-boxed meal, the better.

Western diseases come from a Western diet. The Europeans, the Greeks, the French or the Italians don't have the illnesses we do; at least, not in such abundance. They spend a greater amount on their paycheck on food. They cook. They take more time to slow down and eat together. They don't sit on the couch, in front of the TV with a meal you can microwave in 2 minutes. Eating at the table with family or friends is very important to them... and it should be. It makes eating much more enjoyable.

I'm going to throw in a few key points he brings up and if you want an extension of these, please feel free to comment and we can discuss it :)

~ avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) more than 5 in number, c) unpronouncable or d) that include high-fructose corn syrup.

~ avoid food products that make health claims (can you guess why?)

~ you are what you eat, eats, too (this includes the quality of soil of the grass that feeds the cow that you eat the steak, butter or drink the milk from)

~ pay more, eat less

~ eat slowly

~ try not to eat alone

Try to read this book if you can. He brings up so many more things than I can ever mention here that get the 'ol brain box movin'. Michael Pollan is an excellent author that really seems to know his stuff.. and he's not afraid to challenge conventional thinking/ways.

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