“It seems to be a rule of nutritionism that for every good nutrient, there must be a bad nutrient to serve as its foil, the latter a focus for our food fears and the former for our enthusiasms.”
We are a culture obsessed with eating. Paradoxically, we never seem to find time to sit down around a table and eat meals, prepare food at home or grow a garden. We know all about the latest diets and the caloric value of what we eat, but we probably can’t identify more than half of the vegetables offered in our grocery stores or markets. According to Michael Pollan, we have turned into a nation that fixates on eating, but no longer enjoys it.
Taking his aim on what he calls the ‘reigning ideology of nutritionism’, Pollan dismantles our pyramid-style mindsets and gleans wisdom from our great-grandparents’ traditional diets. He advocates an escape from the preserved, imitation food of the western diet and elaborates on 3 simple guidelines for doing so: eat food. not too much. mostly plants.
Pollan’s work doesn’t claim to be a thorough scientific analysis of why nutritionism and food science are failing us. As a sociological study, it gratefully acknowledges and curates the work of doctors and researchers. But ultimately, In Defense of Food is an everyman’s book. It is a celebration of our food heritage and a call to return to loving what we eat.