Review by Shwetha H S
If you tried reading In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan and failed to complete it, then don’t be disheartened that you might be in nutrition world. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by the same author is like a summary of In Defence of Food, but is humorous and short enough to make readers understand the good and bad of the food world.
The book is divided into three parts to answer three simple questions: What should I eat? What kind of food should I eat? And how should I eat? The answers to these questions too are very simple: Eat food. Mostly Plants. Not too much. In each part of the book, Michael Pollan has given simple rules to follow to make sure you eat healthy food, and not food-like substances. Yes, he calls all the science-generated food as food-like substances and refuses to acknowledge them as food. His motive is to take food back to its original intention: to get energy, to fulfil your taste necessity and give happiness by satisfying taste buds.
To write Food Rules, Michael Pollan asked his readers to send him the top food rule that they follow in their personal lives. According to him, many “rules” were sent by his readers, but he chose the true and logical ones. And he says all of them are based on traditional knowledge about food and not based on science. Buy the book, read and remember the rules, and go for food. You will stay healthy.
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.