Micheal Pollan: In defense of Food

Michael Pollan visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book, “In Defense of Food.”

This book could be considered a sort of sequel to his last book on food, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/2007/04/the_omnivores_dilemma_a_natural_his.html – though it stands on it’s own, and is the single best book on health, nutrition and diet I’ve ever read.

It’s hard to summarize the book, for it itself is a summary of the entire food world and just about everything science has thrown at us so far concerning food and the food like substances which we eat.

A attempt nonetheless: Food is more than the sum of it’s parts – a vegetable is not defined in just the sum of the nutrients which science can measure so far – the interplay of the different micro nutrients present within a food are not yet understood by science, and the sum of whatever is inside a food is generally more than the component parts. Not only that, we still don’t know which of the many component parts are important to eat, and why.

Processed foods are often times not food – they are devoid of many of the micro nutrients we need, and full of too many macro nutrients which we are getting too much of. Stay away from anything which claims it has a health benefit – it’s the vegetables and fruits without the benifit of a huge marketing campaign which are healthy, and not the processed food.

A safe bet is to avoid processed food as much as possible, regardless of the health claims they make – for not only are the health claims completely meaningless, we still don’t know enough about food to be able to make most of these claims.

We must consider the entire food chain – we are what we eat, and we are what we eat eats too. Industrial agriculture breeds for quantity over quality, and the simple diet of chemical fertilizers on which industrial agriculture grows crops breeds out many of the micro nutrients which organically grown vegetables have.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That about sums it up, and the book does a wonderful job of explaining, as well as providing heuristics and algorithms to go by on eating.

The “introduction to the book is online”:http://changethis.com/pdf/43.01.EatersManifesto.pdf..

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