In Defense of Food

#1 New York Times Bestseller from the author of How to Change Your Mind, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Food Rules 

Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion--most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

"Michael Pollan [is the] designated repository for the nation's food conscience."
-Frank Bruni, The New York Times

" A remarkable volume . . . engrossing . . . [Pollan] offers those prescriptions Americans so desperately crave."
-The Washington Post

"A tough, witty, cogent rebuttal to the proposition that food can be redced to its nutritional components without the loss of something essential... [a] lively, invaluable book."
--Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"In Defense of Food is written with Pollan's customary bite, ringing clarity and brilliance at connecting the dots."
-The Seattle Times


Michael Pollan’s most recent book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation--the story of our most trusted food expert’s culinary education--was published by Penguin Press in April 2013, and in 2016 it serves as the inspiration for a four-part docuseries on Netflix by the same name.


In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan Summary

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (released internationally as In Defence of Food) is a 2008 book by journalist and activist Michael Pollan. It was number one on the New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller List for six weeks. The book grew out of Pollan's 2007 essay Unhappy Meals published in the New York Times Magazine. Pollan has also said that he wrote In Defense of Food as a response to people asking him what they should eat after having read his previous book, The Omnivore's Dilemma.In the book, Pollan explores the relationship between nutritionism and the Western diet, postulating that the answer to healthy eating is simply to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan argues that nutritionism as an ideology has overcomplicated and harmed American eating habits. He says that rather than focusing on eating nutrients, people should focus on eating the sort of food that their ancestors would recognize, implying that much of what Americans eat today isn't real food, but "imitations of food." In the book, he distinguishes between food and "edible foodlike substances." Pollan recommends that Americans spend more money and time on food, and buy locally.Pollan argues that the science of nutrition should not influence people's eating habits because a full range of nutrients has yet to be identified by scientists, and claims that the more focused Americans become on nutrition, the less healthy they seem to become.In 2009, the University of Wisconsin–Madison selected In Defense of Food as the inaugural book of its Common Read program Go Big Read. A professor from the university's department of dairy science wrote to oppose this decision, saying that Pollan's writing expressed "an individual's biased and disputed view of today's food and agricultural systems."..


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