In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food

The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating

Downloadable Audiobook - 2007
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"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan"s In defense of food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The omnivore's dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues ... But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists--all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2007
ISBN: 9781415944936
Additional Contributors: Brick, Scott
Books on Tape, Inc


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Hillsboro_RobP May 16, 2019

A good book for those suspicious of diets, nutritionists, and food fads. Even for someone as addicted to junk food as myself, it's hard not to evaluate what I'm buying and eating after this one. Full of information, not guilt.

note: I may have had a different narrator than other reviewers, because he had no accent and at 1.25 speed really sounded like he was aggressively yelling the info at you. I didn't mind him.

DPLjosie Apr 14, 2018

Definitely an interesting read (listen), but I wasn't totally sold on the narrator. He had a very sophisticated accent that I didn't feel matched well with the material, nor making the subject accessible to a wide audience.

Aug 30, 2017

Very good book full of good information which will make you think.
Pollan is an excellent writer, presenting technical information in a readable and understandable way to the average person.

Sep 15, 2014

This book is a must-read (or listen) for anyone wanting to learn more about the state of food in today's world. It is clear, concise, and not at all dull. Pollan's advice ("Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.") may sound simple, however the majority of us get snagged by the first sentence. What modern industry defines as "food" does not fit Pollan's definition. In a nutshell, anything your grandmother would not have recognized on sight or on an ingredient list probably doesn't qualify. Most modern convenience foods and snacks (think hot pockets and twinkies) are not food but rather "food-like products." Moving back to simple, organic foods is the only surefire way to reduce risk of afflictions such as diabetes and heart disease. Pollan also launches a campaign against nutritionism, or the belief that a healthy diet rests not in foods themselves, but the micro-nutrients they contain. I could say so much more, but if your interest is stirred I encourage you to let Pollan explain it himself!

Jun 20, 2012

I have been recommended this book by several people and was glad I finally got around to reading it.

There is a lot of information about food and nutrition floating around out there. I was especially confused by the recent commotion over high fructose corn syrup. Some people were saying it was perfectly safe, others were saying it wasn't, but no one had any proof to their claims. As a scientist, that bothered me.

In this book, Pollan starts out by giving a history of 'nutritionism.' He then talks about the more recent happenings in food, including discussing the 'cults' of fats, carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids, and even high fructose corn syrup. Just as you're feeling as though you won't ever be able to eat healthfully, he gives a detailed explanation of how to do just that and why you should do it.

The only thing I didn't like about this audiobook was the narrator. I looked him up and found he's an award winning narrator, but I don't particularly like his inflections in this book. It makes Pollan's words sound more...snobby. It took a lot of getting used to.

Feb 17, 2011

This is a wonderful book, filled with excellent information that really makes you think. There are some shocking facts to digest but overall well worth reading.


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