Review by Shwetha H S
Food is no longer just food. It is nutrition. This is the gist of In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan. Being a journalist, the author has a natural penchant to dig deep into happenings around the world. In this book, he has explained the transition of food since the advent of Nutritionism. With evidence about how trying to scientifically breakdown the food to make it better only led to devastating failures that were tried to hide by more theories about nutritionism. The science used to provide better nutrition forgot the basic essence of wholesomeness. While concentrating on individual nutrient, scientists have ignored the nutrients’ behaviour with each other and the fact that the wholesome behaviour might be the key to the food’s goodness and not individual behaviour. The author has used research articles, government-run campaigns and famous nutritional claims of all times to show how flawed food and nutrition field is, especially in the USA. He also mentions that human body is capable of digesting any kind of diet except the Western Diet which consists of high protein, low carbohydrates, high fat (masked with other nutrients) and low micro nutrients.
By providing too much of information, Michael Pollan has done his best to convince the readers of the facade of nutritionism and has burst many myths. But there are times when the readers feel like they are reading the same thing over and over again. It is not his fault that all the information available and provided related to nutrition and nutritionism are interrelated. If you are interested in nutrition and want to know where humanity went wrong with respect to food, pick this book and rummage through it along with your kitchen.