In Defense of Food

I knew immediately that this book was the best medicine to stop the insanity of my quest for nutritional knowledge. “We are becoming a nation of orthorexics: people with an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.” The gist of Pollan’s thesis, summed up, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This flies in the face of all the confusion surrounding the evil “nutritionism” fanatics who obsess about a particular macronutrient (fat, protein or carbs) or insist on a miracle micronutrient (omega-3 being the likely candidate for this century).
Eat food: real food, stuff your great-grandmother would recognize.
* avoid food products with ingredients that are unfamiliar, unpronounceable, have more than 5 ingredients, or have high fructose corn syrup.
* avoid food that has a health claim
* shop the peripheries of a grocery store and stay out of the middle where processed food lurks
* get out of the supermarket as much as possible and shop farmers markets, gardens, CSAs
Mostly plants:
* eat plants, especially leaves (not seeds)
* if you eat animal products, care about what they eat because you’re eating it too
* eat like an omnivore- lots of new species to keep us away from harmful homogenization of crops
* eat well grown food from healthy soils
* eat wild foods
* savor your food, linger and enjoy, eat until 80% full, smaller portions plus a glass of wine
Not too much:
* pay more, eat less. Pay attention to quality. Organic really is tastier, slow down and enjoy each bite instead of shoveling food down your gullet
* eat meals. Don’t eat in front of a TV or alone. Make meals a bonding event and linger and enjoy the food communally.
* Eat whatever you eat at a table. Desks don’t count
* Don’t eat anything from a gas station
* don’t eat alone
* let your belly tell you when it’s full. Give it the full 20 minutes to be satiated.
* Eat slowly. Slow food movement all about caring where your food came from, enjoying each bite
* Cook and plant a garden
“As cook in your kitchen you enjoy an omniscience about your food that no amount of supermarket study or label reading could hope to match. Having retaken control of the meal from the food scientists and processors, you know exactly what is and is not in it: There are no questions about high-fructose corn syrup, or ethoxylated diglycerides, or partially hydrogenated soy oil, for the simple reason that you didn’t partially hydrogenate anything…”

auth=Pollan, Michael
sub=An Eater’s Manifesto

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