In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – Now a PBS Documentary

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” With that seven-word maxim, US-based journalist Michael Pollan distills a career’s worth of reporting into a prescription for reversing the damage being done to people’s health by today’s industrially driven Western diet. Pollan offers an answer to one of the most urgent questions of our time: What should I eat to be healthy? From

First published in 2008, In defense of Food is a manifesto for returning to the diet of our grandparents, and avoiding the pitfalls of modern processed foods. Now PBS has released a documentary with the same title, the show features author Michael Pollan as he tours the world in search of healthy food and food cultures, and highlights the problems with agribusiness, the modern grocery store, and the problem of following a “nutrient driven” diet.

From his website, we read:

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. By urging us to once again eat food, he challenges the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach – what he calls nutritionism – and proposes an alternative way of eating that is informed by the traditions and ecology of real, well-grown, unprocessed food. Our personal health, he argues, cannot be divorced from the health of the food chains of which we are part.

In Defense of Food shows us how, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes. We can relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites, and return eating to its proper context – out of the car and back to the table. Michael Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time.

Check your local PBS station for dates and times.

by Staff