In Defense of Food

May 11, 2017 by

In Defense of Food Book Cover


Title: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Authors: Michael Pollan
Year: 2009

Quick Summary:
This book takes the reader through the array of existing food industries – industrial, organic, and sustainable – to uncover what each one means for the plants and animals within it and for our own health.  He discusses the transformation in the way that humans produce, distribute, and consume their foods and the impact that can have on our bodies and overall nutrition.

Michael Pollan has a talent for focusing in on the information that matters most to the reader as they try to understand more about the foods they are purchasing and placing into their bodies.  He doesn’t get hung up on the many different rabbit trails that one could run down on these topics.  Instead he places his primary focus on what has changed, what this means for the nutritional value of our foods, and the easy rules each of us can follow to improve our health and quality of life.  And he has fun while doing it!

As someone with gastroparesis, this book was incredibly helpful to me in gaining a better understanding for which foods I should cut out first, which I should try to focus on, and how to get more out of reading the nutrition/ingredient label on each product.  It was the turning point for me in fixing up my diet and getting to my healthiest place with this condition.

This is an incredibly nerdy low point, but this book does not go into the kind of detail that I often like to see for topics such as this.  If you are interested in learning more about the inner workings of each industry and the details of how the changes have impacted the nutritional value of our food…Michael Pollan has a better book for that!  It’s called the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and it’s for those of us who like to learn about things in nitty gritty detail.

Final Word:
If you feel overwhelmed by everything that you see and hear regarding organic, sustainable, processed, fortified, and more, then this book is fantastic.  “In Defense of Food” is a thorough, evidence-based guide to the information you need so that you may better understand what you see in the grocery store, what you are told on the internet, and what may be discussed amongst friends and family – and use that information in the way that will most benefit your health.

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