I haven’t read Michael Pollan’s new book, In Defense of Food, but after reading the interview with Pollan on Alternet (Michael Pollan Debunks Food Myths) I’m definitely adding it to my reading list.
Pollan argues that we as a society have gotten too far away from “real food” and, thanks to food industry marketing, have become dependent on processed, fake foods that have little resemblance to the food our grandparents ate.
He says we need to get back to cooking from scratch and that it’s the food industry that has convinced us we’re too busy to cook. With all the time we spend surfing the Internet, watching tv, and talking on the cell phone, surely we can find the time to make a decent meal, one that doesn’t come out of a box, have 50 preservatives and artificial colorings, and have the life zapped out of it in the microwave.
He also says we need to get away from the guilt we feel around food and learn to celebrate what we eat rather than fear it. We shouldn’t be afraid of fat or cholesterol, especially since science is finding them to be less harmful than previously thought. It’s the fake foods we should fear, the ones that come in shiny packages with words like “low fat” and “low carb” on them. Low fat, low carb, fat free – these are all marketing gimmicks that don’t really have anything to do with how healthy a food may be.
The book also touches on topics like the safety of soy, the benefits of eating grass-fed meat and eggs, and the scientific focus on single nutrients rather than the whole food.
It sounds like something we should all read in order to get a reality check and snap ourselves out of the collective food coma we’ve been living in for decades.