Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In Defence of Food

Book Review

In Defence of Food - The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating. By Michael Pollan.

While discussing Coal Seam Gas, Organic Farming, Biofuels and Peak Oil with friends over a few glasses of wine, the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollen was recommended to me, and this one was mentioned as being good too. So when I searched the BCC Library catalogue I put a hold on both of them.

This one arrived first.

Brilliant! It sums itself up in 7 words in the introduction "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

The book then proceeds to define 'food' (nothing that your great grandmother wouldn't recognise is one) and eliminate all that confusion that has been created by the science of nutrition.
The explanations of the history of nutrition science, 'nutritionism' and government health recommendations (USA but we can relate to some here in Aus too) are fantastic, as is the explanation of the limitations of the science itself.
The book is easy to read and engaging, but not 'dumbed down'.

This could cure you of 'dieting' for life, and certainly points out how unlikely any of the fad diets are to make you healthy, or even help you lose weight in the long term.

Yet another (very cohesive) argument for going organic, mixed farms, and 'slow food' - or at least cooking most of your meals from scratch and eating at the table with your family.  Though that isn't its purpose.

A 21 page list of resources (by chapter) and a 12 page index make it a book to refer back to, or lead you on to further reading.

Invest a couple of hours.  Borrow it. Read it.

Highly recommended.

PS The picture is of the American edition of the book - hence the different spelling of the title.

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