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We truly are what we eat . . . . . or don't eat,
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This review is from: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Hardcover)
Americans are fat.
Who's to blame? The government. Ay, but there's the rub. If the government undoes its mischievous agricultural subsidies, voters in farm states will throw the rascals out of office. Look what happened to Sen. John McCain in Iowa because he wants to end ethanol subsidies. No politician can afford to be public spirited instead of self-centered. The cure is not in government.
Instead, an intelligent solution begins with this book. Pollan goes to the heart of the matter, which is the content of our food. Our consumer society is based on making attractive products. For food, this means added sugar or added fat.
To quote Pollan: ". . . we're eating a whole lot more, at least 300 more calories a day than we consumed in 1985. What kind of calories? Nearly a quarter of these additional calories come from added sugars (and most of that in the form of high-fructose corn syrup); roughly another quarter from added fat . . . "
These extra calories are from nutrient-deficient food. It began with refined flour in the 1870s which removed bran and wheat germ to produce long-lasting snowy white flour. Consumers loved it because flour no longer turned rancid, and it didn't become infected with bugs.
Okay. Why didn't bugs chomp down on this new flour? Quite simply because the nutrients, the bran, wheat germ, carotene, were gone. Pollan explains, ". . . this gorgeous white powder was nutritionally worthless, or nearly so. Much the same is now true for corn flour and white rice." Take a look at a package of white flour and count the additives that make up for the loss of natural ingredients. Then you'll understand the basic thrust of this book and its remedies.
How do refined carbohydrates affect us? They are implicated in several chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
This book outlines those problems and practical solutions to the lack of nutrients and excess of fat and sugar in our daily food. Quite simply, good health is often less a matter of miracle medicines than of common sense meals. Pollan outlines the problem and offers solutions, as indicated in a University of Minnesota study of natural ingredients in wheat which concluded, "This analysis suggests that something else in the whole grain protects against death."
Protects against death? Did that get your interest? If so, this book is truly a major step toward a much healthier lifestyle . . . . . merely by changing the foods you eat.
Try it. You'll like it.
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Initial post: Aug 14, 2010 2:52:15 PM PDT
Great review. I loved this book and wanted a synopsis. Thank you for providing one.
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