[permaculture] Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore's Dilemma) - Google lecture | In Defense of Food: NPR interview with Michael Pollan
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lflj at intrex.net
Tue May 6 04:14:27 EDT 2008
Authors at Google: Michael Pollan
March 06, 2008 (Less info)
Michael Pollan visits Google's Mountain View, CA, headquarters to discuss his book, "In Defense of Food." This talk took
place on March 4, 2008, as part of the Authors at Google series.
In Defense of Food: NPR interview with Michael Pollan about "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Book: Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594201455/downandoutint-20
Last week, Michael Pollan (author of the acclaimed The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0143038583/downandoutint-20) did an interview with NPR's Science Friday in order
to discuss his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594201455/downandoutint-20), whose contents can be summed up as, "Eat food. Not
too much. Mostly plants."
Hidden in those seven words is an indictment of "Nutritionism," the philosophy that says that food must be approached as
a scientific challenge, valued for its nutrients, which can be delivered in purer, industrialized (and highly
profitable) forms in packaged, prepared dishes and ingredients.
Pollan makes a convincing case -- citing credible research -- that the science behind nutritionism is, at best,
"promising" but not ready for primetime (he likens it to sixteenth century surgery: fascinating but not the kind of
thing you want to be on the receiving end of). He explains how nutritionism has captured politics, so that the FDA isn't
allowed to say, "Eat less red meat," but is backed into saying, "Make eating choices that are lower in saturated fats,"
prompting an industry to spring up around further industrialization of food to remove saturated fats. Nevermind that the
science says, "Eat less red meat" -- by demonizing a nutrient, a blow to the cattle-ranchers is turned into an
opportunity to create even greater markups on their product by charging a premium for engineered, "low in saturated
Pollan has a set of simple rules for eating that really resonate: "Shop the edges of the grocery store, not the middle,"
"Eat things your great grandmother might have eaten," "Eat nothing that bears a health or nutritional claim," and so on.
It's a delightful interview and it's led me to ordering the audiobook to listen to on my morning walks. Link, Link to In
Defense of Food
posted in: Audio , Book
Michael Pollan - In Defense of Food (broadcast Friday, January 4th, 2008)
NPR: Science Friday
Chances are that your holiday meals weren't completely natural. But where is the dividing line between 'real' food and
some sort of artificial pseudo-food-substitute? In this segment, Ira talks with author Michael Pollan about his latest
book, "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto." He suggests that people can improve their eating tremendously through
relatively simple rules, including 'Don't eat anything that your great-grandmother would not recognize as food.' Pollan
boils down his philosophy of nutrition to just seven words: 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.' We'll find out more
about his ideas, and how to apply them to your local grocery store. Teachers, find more information about using Science
Friday as a classroom resource in the Kids' Connection.
Author, "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" (Penguin Press HC, 2008)
Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine
Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California
* Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food
* NPR: 'In Defense of Food' Author Offers Advice for Health
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