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In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto Hardcover – January 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,164 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Significant Seven, January 2008: Food is the one thing that Americans hate to love and, as it turns out, love to hate. What we want to eat has been ousted by the notion of what we should eat, and it's at this nexus of hunger and hang-up that Michael Pollan poses his most salient question: where is the food in our food? What follows in In Defense of Food is a series of wonderfully clear and thoughtful answers that help us omnivores navigate the nutritional minefield that's come to typify our food culture. Many processed foods vie for a spot in our grocery baskets, claiming to lower cholesterol, weight, glucose levels, you name it. Yet Pollan shows that these convenient "healthy" alternatives to whole foods are appallingly inconvenient: our health has a nation has only deteriorated since we started exiling carbs, fats--even fruits--from our daily meals. His razor-sharp analysis of the American diet (as well as its architects and its detractors) offers an inspiring glimpse of what it would be like if we could (a la Humpty Dumpty) put our food back together again and reconsider what it means to eat well. In a season filled with rallying cries to lose weight and be healthy, Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."--is a program I actually want to follow. --Anne Bartholomew

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In his hugely influential treatise The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan traced a direct line between the industrialization of our food supply and the degradation of the environment. His new book takes up where the previous work left off. Examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of health, this powerfully argued, thoroughly researched and elegant manifesto cuts straight to the chase with a maxim that is deceptively simple: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. But as Pollan explains, food in a country that is driven by a thirty-two billion-dollar marketing machine is both a loaded term and, in its purest sense, a holy grail. The first section of his three-part essay refutes the authority of the diet bullies, pointing up the confluence of interests among manufacturers of processed foods, marketers and nutritional scientists—a cabal whose nutritional advice has given rise to a notably unhealthy preoccupation with nutrition and diet and the idea of eating healthily. The second portion vivisects the Western diet, questioning, among other sacred cows, the idea that dietary fat leads to chronic illness. A writer of great subtlety, Pollan doesn't preach to the choir; in fact, rarely does he preach at all, preferring to lets the facts speak for themselves. (Jan.)
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Product details

  • Publisher : Penguin Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1594201455
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1594201455
  • Lexile measure : 1390L
  • Item Weight : 13.2 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.7 x 0.86 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,164 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,164 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2018
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William Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very persuasive account of the ills of the Western diet and what to do about it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2015
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Mel S
5.0 out of 5 stars if you actually like food read this!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2019
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JoAdores
5.0 out of 5 stars Making sense out of nonsense.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 12, 2014
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Baraniecki Mark Stuart
4.0 out of 5 stars Problems with the Western Diet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 16, 2011
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Michael Milad
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat food - mostly plants
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2020
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