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April 2008 posts

Book Review- In Defense Of Food, by Micheal Pollan

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.  Indefensefood_cover_thumb

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

Concerned about your Drinking Water?

These days, it is hard to know when we are doing the right thing for our health with all of the mixed information we get from the media.  We hear, "drink more water"  so, we drink more water.  Then you read the recent Associated Press report on the widespread contamination of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water.

What can we do to protect ourselves from these and other contaminants:

  1. Hire a reputable company to take a sample of your water and analyze the quality.  I would recommend this even if your source is from a deep well. 
  2. Consider a point of use (POU) water filtration system in that it is the "best protection" for clean water, says the Water Quality Association (WQA).  A point of use filtration system is one that simply is connected in the home.  These can be used on the kitchen sink or all of the water sources in the home including the shower.  The WQA has mentioned that activated carbon filters have shown promise in removing the unwanted contaminants in our water.

Many water filtration companies exist these days offering activated carbon filters along with many others.  I personally have had a carbon filtration system from Multipure for several years and am very pleased with my drinking water.  If you would like more information on Multipure, you can visit their website at www.multipureco.com.

Alison Finger, ND