Friday, February 8, 2008

Eat Food

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Thus begins the introduction to Michael Pollan's latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. It's a call to action for people everywhere to move away from processed junk, to limit meat consumption and to depend once again on a wide variety of plants to nourish us. Mr. Pollan is not a vegan nor a raw foodist. He's not pushing a diet or any supplements. He simply wants us to go back to eating food in its recognizable forms and to stop relying on what the fake-food industries push on us--all things boxed, bagged and canned for our convenience.

This books walks us through food history, describing how man hath fallen from enjoying what nature intended for our nourishment, to devouring whatever scientists suggest. After pointing out some of the damage being done by currently popular food-like substances, Mr. Pollan spells out some specific steps the reader can take to move away from a Standard Western Diet and begin eating food which our great-great-grandmother's would recognize as such. (What the heck is a Frito anyway?)

This book has the nerve to suggest that we shouldn't stuff ourselves with whatever's cheapest and easiest to attain. It has the nerve to state plainly that scientists don't really know much about why certain foods are good for us. It has the nerve to encourage us to enjoy what we eat. It's a worthy read.