Friday, February 19, 2010

Response to Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food begins with the idea that we, as human beings, should increase our consumption of whole fresh foods while decrease our consumption of meat and other highly processed foods. Pollan argues that we used to know how to eat well without guidance from health professionals. However, it was the emergence of the food industry that caused us to lose our roots in healthy eating. The food industry, for example, introduced us to “edible foodlike substances,” with foods high in carbs and sugar. Processed foods, according to Pollan, lack the vital nutrients found in fresh whole foods. Though processed foods may claim to have health benefits, they are anything but healthy. And regular consumption of such foods, including meat, slows down our metabolism, encouraging fat storage and causes us to overeat (Pollan, 2008, 1).

Another of Pollan’s argument focuses on the idea that the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become. Pollan beliefs this is caused by our lack of nutritional understanding and anxiety. As an alternative to healthy eating, Pollan proposes that we return to our tradition ways of eating freshly grown unprocessed foods rather than eating too much meat and other unhealthy foods. Pollan confirms that it’s important to relearn what healthy foods are and hopefully this can help us “eat more of the right ones, fewer of the wrong, and we’ll live longer, avoid chronic disease, and lose weight” (Pollan, 2008, 20). Pollan believes that by doing so, we can begin to make thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives.

Similar to Pollan’s view on the need for people to reduce their consumption of meat, John M. Berardi, writer of the article – “Meat: Good for us or Disease Waiting to Happen” – also thinks that frequent consumption of meat is bad for one’s health. Berardi provides evidence that eating too much meat and other wrong types of food can increase one’s likelihood to develop cancer. Berardi finds that people who eat a lot of meat also tends to eat less of other healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits and unprocessed grains. Therefore, their diets then have higher calories and saturated fats and lower nutrients, such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (Berardi, 2009).

**In Defense of Food cover retrieved from here.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your blog post. I'd avoid the commercial blog links in future posts. My concern with commercial blogs is that they are simply a marketing tool, regardless of how interesting they are.