Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eat your food

A leading investigative journalist of the culinary variety, Michael Pollan returns with characteristic charm and candor in his latest book "In Defense of Food." After stirring the foodie pot with his influential "Omnivore's Dilemma," Pollan comes back to answer the central question that drives his four meal quest. "What should we have for dinner?"

The answer comes emblazoned on the cover. Meaning you don't have to buy the book to gain the benefit of his Zen-like advice: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Even though that's everything you need to know right there, I highly recommend buying the book or checking it out from your local library. Whether carnivore, omnivore or herbivore, you're sure to find this book fascinating. Especially if you've already read "Omnivores."

At it's heart, this concise manifesto explores the politics of food. Pollan paints a bleak picture of how relaxed labeling laws, adulterated food and the psuedo-science of nutritionism (Low Fat! Now with added antioxidants!) have proven to be a leech on public health.

His strategies for eating well in a world of industrial food are both practical and adventurous. Some of it even seems counterintuitive at first, such as his advice to avoid foods that come with health claims. Follow his advice and you'll find yourself firmly in the ranks of the ethical eaters, which I wrote about in this week's edition of Switch Magazine.

Should you be near Portland, ME on Wednesday, June 18 and want to join a discussion about the book, head over to Rabelais from 6-7:30.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great book! I'll have to check it out or request it from my local library... Thanks for sharing!


Bianca said...

I haven't read the Omni Dilemna, but I've thought about it...I wasn't sure if it'd be more geared to actual omnis or not...

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! I love it when fellow vegans share insight into what they are reading- that influences me far more than a sterile review on, say, amazon.

Marisa L. S. said...

I've been wanting to read this one. The problem is the people that really need to read these books don't! Recently I was at a meeting where a woman was gushing about some kind of snack crackers which have a serving of vegetables in them! Lets all eat a bag of crackers and not eat our veggies. People actually think these enriched foods are good for you.