Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: In Defense of Food by Micheal Pollan

I've been spending a lot of time listening to books in the last week or so because I've been walking quite a bit, but even more so because I'm working on a Christmas present for Davan. I'm making a rag rug, my first ever attempt to do so. It's going...okay. She'll like it just because she appreciates homemade gifts and the effort put into them, but it's not overly pretty, there are parts that have more gaps than they should and it's still very small for all the hours I've put into it. I shall keep plugging along, though. Yesterday's endeavors allowed me to finish up In Defense of Food.

The audio book version is read by Scott Brick, whom I did not like. He seems to be trying way too hard to force emotion and drama into the reading.

In Defense of Food is the story of how we got to our current beliefs about food, what is wrong with that and some ideas on how to correct it. The basic idea is that we have allowed government interpretation of science all lead by big business to become the corner stone of our ideas about food. On top of that, the science is often flawed due to a variety of factors, including, primarily, concentrating too much on single nutrients.

I agree with a lot of what Pollan has to say, but disagree with him on a couple of points. One of those points is the importance of a low fat diet, which was what prompted a recent post of mine. Still, I think he has a lot to say that is of value, especially about processed foods and about the history of government food recommendations.

He has some good ideas about rules for food, although, I think he'd be the first to say that we only need these rules because we, Americans, particularly, are really out of touch with what is a good and healthy way to eat. And I don't agree with some food specifics. Butter, no matter how untainted by the production line, is not good for you.

In Defense of Food is a well written and interesting book, which would score even higher for me if I agreed with several of his key conclusions and I liked the reader. Still, I give it an 8.

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