In Defense of Food An Eater's Manifesto

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-01-01
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The

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What to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: a manifesto for our times "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." Writing In Defense of Food, and affirming the joy of eating, Pollan suggests that if we would pay more for better, well-grown food, but buy less of it, we'll benefit ourselves, our communities, and the environment at large. Taking a clear-eyed look at what science does and does not know about the links between diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about the question of what to eat that is informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach. In Defense of Foodreminds us that, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, the solutions to the current omnivore's dilemma can be found all around us. In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy.

Author Biography

Michael Pollan is the author of four previous books, including The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, both New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of journalism at Berkeley.

Table of Contents

Introduction: An Eater's Manifestop. 1
The Age of Nutritionismp. 17
From Foods to Nutrientsp. 19
Nutritionism Definedp. 27
Nutritionism Comes to Marketp. 32
Food Science's Golden Agep. 36
The Melting of the Lipid Hypothesisp. 40
Eat Right, Get Fatterp. 50
Beyond the Pleasure Principlep. 53
The Proof in the Low-Fat Puddingp. 58
Bad Sciencep. 61
Nutritionism's Childrenp. 78
The Western Diet and the Diseases of Civilizationp. 83
The Aborigine in All of Usp. 85
The Elephant in the Roomp. 89
The Industrialization of Eating: What We Do Knowp. 101
From Whole Foods to Refinedp. 106
From Complexity to Simplicityp. 114
From Quality to Quantityp. 118
From Leaves to Seedsp. 124
From Food Culture to Food Sciencep. 132
Getting Over Nutritionismp. 137
Escape from the Western Dietp. 139
Eat Food: Food Definedp. 147
Mostly Plants: What to Eatp. 161
Not Too Much: How to Eatp. 182
Acknowledgmentsp. 202
Sourcesp. 206
Resourcesp. 229
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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