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In Defense of Food

268 pages, 2008

science & nature

science & nature

1064 books
health & fitness

health & fitness

316 books

From the author of How to Change Your Mind, The Omnivores Dilemma, and Food Rules. Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it? Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion—most of what we're consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. 

 The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition (in much the same way we worry about health), the less healthy we seem to become. With In Defense of Food , Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much.

The Western Diet is Not Healthy

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan explores the negative effects of the Western diet. He suggests that the rise in chronic diseases is linked to our consumption of processed foods. It's time to take a look at what we're eating and consider making changes for the sake of our health.

Real Food is the Best

Pollan emphasizes the importance of eating real, whole foods. He argues that these foods are more nutritious and beneficial for our bodies than processed ones. So, next time you're at the grocery store, check the ingredients and choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.

Nutritionism is Misleading

The author criticizes the concept of 'nutritionism', the belief that the nutritional value of food is the sum of its individual nutrients. He suggests that this approach is misleading and encourages us to see food as more than just a collection of nutrients. So, don't just focus on the nutritional label, but also consider the quality of the food you're eating.

The Importance of Traditional Diets

Pollan digs into the benefits of traditional diets, which are typically rich in whole foods and low in processed ones. He finds that people following these diets tend to be healthier. So, it might be worth researching traditional diets and incorporating some of their principles into your own eating habits.

Simplicity is Key

In Defense of Food offers a simple mantra: 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.' This simple advice, according to Pollan, can help us navigate the confusing world of food and nutrition. So, keep it simple and remember that real, whole foods are the best choice for your health.

Quotes 5

Pollan's 'In Defense of Food' is a compelling exploration of the relationship between what we eat and our health. It's a must-read for anyone interested in making informed choices about their diet.

Bill ClintonBill Clinton - 42nd U.S. President

'In Defense of Food' is a powerful book that challenges the way we think about food and health. It's a game-changer.

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey - Media Executive

Michael Pollan's 'In Defense of Food' is a profound and enlightening examination of our food system. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about what they eat.

Alice WatersAlice Waters - Chef, Activist

'In Defense of Food' is a groundbreaking book that exposes the truth about the food industry. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about their health.

Mark BittmanMark Bittman - Food Journalist

Pollan's 'In Defense of Food' is a powerful call to action for anyone who cares about their health and the health of our planet. It's a must-read.

Jamie OliverJamie Oliver - Celebrity Chef
Bill ClintonOprah WinfreyAlice WatersMark BittmanJamie Oliver


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