Deconstructing the Standard Deconstructing the Standard American Diet: A Review of In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan : A Review of In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

Deconstructing the Standard Deconstructing the Standard American Diet: A Review of In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan : A Review of In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan

In his fifth book, Pollan defines the word Nutritionism and reveals its deceptive motives.

This new term deceives eaters into believing that foods are better as fractions, pieces, individual chains of nutrients that can function best on their own, instead of a part of a whole food. Pollan exposes the truth behind these claims and offers a way to return to the way humans were made to eat.

He dares to suggest that much of what Americans put into their bodies is not food at all, but rather a foodlike substance that is nothing more than a biologically engineered wisp of the food it is trying to be. To defend against this onslaught of fake food, Pollan offers one weapon: “don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”

Food vs. Foodlike Substances

Pollan uses Go-GURT Portable Yogurt throughout the book as a prime example of a food impostor. This yogurt-from-a-tube is marketed to people who are too busy to sit and eat yogurt any other way. Seventy years ago, items such Go-GURT would be completely unrecognizable to our grannies, nor, as Pollan explains, would she even know how to consume it.

Shop at a Farmers Market, not at the Grocery Store

We eaters are told to get out of the supermarket and purchase food directly from farmers, such as at a farmers market or through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. If no other option exists than to shop at the grocery store, then we are told to shop only the perimeter instead of the inner sanctum of highly processed foods.

Healthy Disillusionment of the American Diet

In Defense of Food leaves readers reeling with the disillusionment of commercial Nutritionism. It provides the necessary information to discern what is food and what is not. As a result, one might, in fact, find themselves passing on the Go-GURT and reaching for something that Great Grandma would recognize, such as a nice orange carrot or even a slice of apple pie.

About Michael Pollan

Pollan is passionate about food and has the research to back up his bold claims against the standard American diet. His other books include Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition