Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review

I am glad that NerdyArtist asked what book I am reading about processed foods.  That gives me an excuse to tell you about it!  The book is called In Defense of Food:  An Eater's Manifesto.  It is by Michael Pollan.  He also wrote The Omnivore's dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.  I have not read the omnivore's dilemma, but have heard good things about it.  In defense of food is a follow up book, but you do not need to read the omnivore's dilemma in order to follow in defense of food.

Here are my thoughts on the book.  I am only about half way through it (maybe I will have time to finish it over winter break?)  So far, I really like the way that it is written.  It seems very well researched, and is written in a way that the average person can understand.  The basic message is that many of our modern diseases came about at the same time that processed foods (especially white flour and sugar) came around.  While these new processed foods have made our lives much more convenient, and have given foods longer shelf lives they have also become so dominant in our diets that we do not eat enough "real food" and therefore are becoming malnourished.  I was interested in a study he talked about where children in families with low socio-economic status are being both overfed, and undernourished.  Processed foods are cheaper so that is what they are eating.  He focuses on the importance of eating real whole foods rather than what he calls food-like substances.  I like the book because it is not written by a scientist or politician or anyone with an agenda.  He is a journalist who is interested in how our diets have changed (and become significantly less healthy) over the past century or so.  Of course after the research he does believe that our diets need an overhaul, but really who wouldn't?  The good news is that he is not trying to sell you diet plans, or shakes, or any other accessories to go with the book.  At the end of the book there are some basic guidelines to follow in your own way to become more healthy.  Unfortunately, I have not gotten to those yet, so I guess that is all I can really say about it. 

I got the book from my local library, (just another way to save money and be green at the same time!) but if you would like to purchase it you can click on the link below and it will take you right to the book listed on Amazon.com. 

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