What I Read Wednesday – In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food

I didn’t quite finish the book I’m reading at the moment yet to write about it, so I decided to go back a bit and write about one I finished in January.

I bought this book for my dad because his diet is terrible and I thought reading about the ‘whys’ we shouldn’t eat that way would help him out. I read Michael Pollan’s other book Food Rules and thought this expanded version might be interesting for my dad.

I’m not a big reader of nonfiction in general. Given the chance, I’ll pick a novel every time. But I loved Food Rules so much that I borrowed this from my dad (he still hasn’t read it) just to see what else Michael Pollan has to say. A lot apparently.

His outline of the way to eat is the closest to my views as well. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t. Don’t eat food your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. (Though on that point, I have my grandmother’s recipes and a lot of them involve processed ingredients more than whole foods.) Don’t eat food that has advertisements on TV or comes through the window of your car.

Other than his rules for eating, the anthropological information about how other cultures eat is seriously fascinating. There are groups all over the world that aren’t quite as advanced as the Western world in terms of health and dentistry, yet their diets almost keep them from needing it. It really illustrates how we’ve become so dependent on healthcare because our diet is so poor.

This book makes you rethink everything you eat and the role of food in society as a whole. It also covers how the food industry has such a grip on what is available so it controls what everyone eats in ways you would never imagine. I recommend everyone read this book and seriously question how we are told to eat.

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