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In Defence of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

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In Defence of Food

An Eater's Manifesto

By Michael Pollan

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Format: Hardback, 256 pages
Published In: United States, 31 January 2008

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 Food" reminds 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.

About the Author

Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001 and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon, and the national bestellers, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food.A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association.

Reviews

Pollan provides another shocking yet essential treatise on the industrialized "Western diet" and its detrimental effects on our bodies and culture. Here he lays siege to the food industry and scientists' attempts to reduce food and the cultural practices of eating into bite-size concepts known as nutrients, and contemplates the follies of doing so. As an increasing number of Americans are overfed and undernourished, Pollan makes a strong argument for serious reconsideration of our eating habits and casts a suspicious eye on the food industry and its more pernicious and misleading practices. Listeners will undoubtedly find themselves reconsidering their own eating habits. Scott Brick, who narrated Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, carries forward the same tone and consistency, thus creating a narrative continuity between the two books. Brick renders the text with an expert's skill, delivering well-timed pauses and accurate emphasis. He executes Pollan's asides and sarcasm with an uncanny ability that makes listening infinitely better than reading. So compelling is his tone, listeners may have trouble discerning whether Brick's conviction or talent drives his powerful performance. Simultaneous release with the Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 26). (Dec.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

-Michael Pollan [is the] designated repository for the nation's food conscience.----Frank Bruni, The New York Times -A remarkable volume . . . engrossing . . . [Pollan] offers those prescriptions Americans so desperately crave.---The Washington Post -A tough, witty, cogent rebuttal to the proposition that food can be redced to its nutritional components without the loss of something essential... [a] lively, invaluable book.---Janet Maslin, The New York Times -In Defense of Food is written with Pollan's customary bite, ringing clarity and brilliance at connecting the dots.---The Seattle Times

This is essential reading for any discussion on the food industry and the detrimental effects of the American diet. Pollan rallies us to reconsider our eating habits. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

EAN: 9781594201455
ISBN: 1594201455
Publisher: Avery Publishing Group Inc.,U.S.
Dimensions: 21.49 x 15.09 x 2.29 centimetres (0.39 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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3 review(s)
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3
Tracy Anderson on
+1
Really good book, almost to the end and I haven't been able to put it down!
Gives you a real insight to what is going on with the chemicals in todays so called superfoods, I will definitly be looking at buying more of his books. well worth the read. I will be shopping the perimeter of my supermarket from now on!
on
 
This book is fantastic. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants"....this is Michael Pollan's thoughts on what we should eat. It will change the way you think about food. Dodge the middle isles of the supermarket and shop the perimeter! Better still head down to your local farmer's market and get organic fruit and veg and support local traders. This book will seriously make you think about your eating rituals and societies obssession with omega 3's etc.
Jessica Donaldson on
 
Reading this book has totally changed the way I shop, cook and eat - and the way my family eats too. It provides scientific information at a level that's easy to understand. And the eating manifesto that the book puts forth is entirely sensible and thought-provoking, whilst also being relatively easy to follow down at your local shop. A must read for anyone who considers how what they eat effects their health and wellbeing.

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