Books: In Defense of Food


In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food is sort of a sequel to the Omnivore’s Dilemma.

It’s a condemnation of the whole idea of “nutritionism.” The idea that people need scientists with beakers and test tubes to tell them what to eat and how to be healthy.

The general idea is that we’ve outsourced our food production to the industrial agriculture system and food preparation to restaurant cooks. Nobody knows how to cook anymore, and nobody even knows what to eat without consulting a “priesthood” of nutritionists who will tell you to eat less carbs or more Omega-3, depending on the fashionable nutrient du joure. The result of all this bullshit is that now everyone is fat, diabetic, or has high blood pressure.

He goes on to recommend that people not buy stuff in the grocery store because most of it isn’t even food, but “edible food-like substances.” He encourages people to cook at home, subscribe to a CSA, and shop at farmer’s markets.

He frames these activities like they are an act of open revolt against the system. I am never so happy as I am when I feel like I’m sticking it to the man, so I am joining Spiral Path (our local CSA) this year, and Brandi and I are going to try to grow at least one edible plant in a flower pot on the back porch (we don’t have a yard to plant a garden in).

Viva la Revolución!

Here’s an (hour long!) YouTube video where the author explains this stuff better than I do.

Anyhow, I give In Defense of Food 4 jihadis out of 5

4 jihadis out of 5

You can download an excerpt (90k PDF) from Michael Pollan’s website.

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