This clearly written and intelligently researched book fits the principals that I talk about with my patients daily. The cover of this book simply states, "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants." These general guidelines seem simple but when we look at what has happened to our food culture it is not that simple.
The author, Michael Pollan, begins the book by introducing Nutritionism- meaning that the key to understanding foods are in their nutrients. He shows us the problems in looking at food this way and proposes a more holistic approach to food, finding benefit in the sum of all its parts rather than on specific nutrients.
The second part of the book discusses our Western Diet and a link to the rise in chronic disease in our culture. Pollan reviews studies of populations eating a more traditional diet and the difference in their long term health.
The third section of the book helps us to understand what we can do with this information and gives us guidelines to follow when we are choosing how and what to eat. I will elaborate further on these guidelines future posts.
I highly recommend reading In Defense Of Food-An Eater's Manifesto. This book reminds us that food is not about it's individual nutrients, or the latest health claim or fad but it is culture, community, and most of all a web of relationships among many living beings.
Alison Finger, ND