- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (7 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141034726
- ISBN-13: 978-0141034720
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto Paperback – 7 May 2009
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More About the Author
'If you're prone to pondering the nutritional advice we're spoon-fed by 'experts', this book is a very necessary antidote' Timeout 'In Defence of Food ... instantly makes redundant all diet books and 99 per cent of discussions around healthy eating' Daily Mail 'Read this witty book for a healthier life and diet' Times 'Eminently sensible' Evening Standard 'His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling' Washington Post
From the Publisher
From the bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma comes In Defence of Food and the Omnivore's Solution for a new way of eating in the New Year...:
1: Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognise as food
2: Avoid foods containing ingredients you can't pronounce
3: Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot
4: Avoid food products that carry health claims
5: Shop the peripheries of the supermarket; stay out of the middle
6: Better yet, buy your food somewhere else: farmers' markets or the CSA
7: Pay more, eat less
8: Eat a wide diversity of species
9: Eat food from animals that eat grass
10: Cook and, if you can, grow some of your own food
11: Eat meals and eat them only at tables
12: Eat deliberately, with other people whenever possible, and always with pleasure--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a diet book, it is an anti-diet book. It arms you with all the tools you need to make up your own mind about food.
It is easy to become almost evangelical about this book, but it is a really important piece of work. Nutritionalists should not worry, the world still needs you, but this book makes you wonder about the way that major corporations use this information to boost profits.
The book begins by looking at modern food (i.e. processed food) and investigated how this `improved' food has impacted upon the health of the last few generations. The results show just how the food we are eating really is affecting our health despite all the miraculous health claims the packaging may have been making. But Pollan goes on to look at the even bigger picture of how this same food may be affecting more than just health, but behaviour of people and just how the "ready in 20 mins" food may effect the family unit too. He goes on to expose some of the lies that the food industries are making with their health claims and just how the inclusion, or exclusion, of certain vitamins, oils etc can actually be having adverse effects upon our health.
I must admit you begin to feel a little hopeless at this point, however this is where the real brilliance begins.
In the final third of the book Pollan explains how we can reclaim the power over our diets and health. He does this, not in some complicated diet, i.e. GI, Atkins, Calorie counting or any of the other ridiculous `weight loss' diets (personal opinion), but by simple easy to follow guidelines (i.e. if a food has more than 5 ingredients, most of which you can't pronounce, then don't by it, or even simpler, buy food that your Great Gran would recognise (that's the yogurt in a tube out then)).Read more ›
I wasn't disappointed. I originally assumed that Pollan was a wacky independent thinker, but actually he's a professor of journalism at Berkeley, and a regular contributor to the New York Times. He's not a Green radical or militant vegan either. In fact, Pollan's book is eminently reasonable, almost conventional, but precisely for that reason, revolutionary!
As you no doubt have guessed, "In Defense of Food" is a critical book about the American food processing industry. But not just the industry! What makes the book so interesting, is that Pollan *also* criticizes the nutritionists and their health fads. At first glance, this may seem strange. Aren't nutritionists and the food industry adversaries? Don't the nutritionists often criticize the food processing industry for producing unhealthy food? Isn't it a good thing that government regulations force the food companies to make healthier food?
Pollan's answer is: well, no, not really. In his opinion, the nutritionists are part of the problem. Indeed, the industry and the nutritionists are two sides of the same coin! Artificial, processed food (such as margarine) has *always* been marketed with the argument that it's more "healthy", "scientific" and "nutritious" than the real thing (in this case, butter). Conversely, the nutritionists have never criticized the production of processed food as such. They only criticize it for lacking this or that nutrient, this or that vitamin or fatty acid.Read more ›
Eat food. Not too much. Eat more plants.
That first statement might raise a few eyebrows. Surely anything we eat, by definition, is food? Not so. As Pollan shockingly shows, we stopped eating food in the West several decades ago, and began to eat 'nutrients' instead. As part of an ongoing 'reductionism' which gets applied to almost everything. our foods have been picked apart to analyse specific ingredients (in isolation) which are said to harm us or to help us. Politics, big business, whether the food 'industry' - which it has become as most of our food is now manufactured rather than, well, allowed to grow, graze or roam - or the 'health industry' have all benefitted from the 'un' food revolution. The individual consumer pays the price in terms of soaring rates of heart disease, cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes and more. The planet and future generations pay the price in terms of depleted soil, the rapid fall in biodiversity and an unsustainable way of life. Our non-food is another way we are killing the planet. And ourselves.
Pollan's book shows elegantly and easily how much our food has changed. He urges us not to follow faddy diets which all look at food through single nutrient zealotry - eg 'the Atkins Diet' 'the GI' diet 'the Omega 3 diet'. Look at the labels on any 'packaged' food. A loaf of bread rarely contains the ingredients your great grandmother would have recognised.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very persuasive treatise on food. Pollan explains why nutritional advice has not worked out well over the years - individual foodstuffs contain so many different substances that... Read morePublished 6 months ago by William Jordan
Quite the most interesting book about food and nutrition that I've read in a very long time. This is the sort of information that growing children should be taught - it would lead... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gourmet Lady
Brilliant book - highly recommend this book if you are wanting to improve your health and diet . I love all the say to remember tips - makes so much sense .Published 12 months ago by Patricia
Great common sense by Michael Pollan. If only I had read this all those years ago when I started dieting and so on. I would have been a lot less neurotic, confused and fat!Published 12 months ago by ClairC
Michael's book is witty, informative & simple common sense. It is written in a conversational style & I had a good giggle. Read morePublished 14 months ago by JoAdores
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