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In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

3.3/5, 3.3 from 8 reviews
Author:
Michael Pollan
ISBN:
1594201455 (ISBN13: 9781594201455)
ASIN:
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Recent Reviews

  1. Max
    No reality check
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Oct 2, 2018
    The whole idea of his book is good but I think it is somewhere far from reality at least for a common man like me.

    He wants us to eat more whole foods and plant based foods which is possible to a great extent. But when he says one shouldn’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients on the label, that cuts out many foods, even the healthy ones from our list.

    I definitely do understand the spirit behind all this and how good it is to slow down, cook from the scratch and enjoy what you have cooked by including more whole ingredients and cutting back on foods that are processed or manufactured but I don’t think it is possible to do it every day in between the hectic schedules of a common man.

    They are definitely good things and I totally would love doing it but I feel there should be some room for reality too.
  2. Jordan
    Too much misinformation!
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Sep 12, 2018
    It would be wrong on my part if I don’t admit that the book has some very good information in it but what concerns me is the misinformation in the book and that is the sole reason I give it only 2 stars.

    The author is right about a few things and I too agree with him when he says the research on nutrition is flawed and that misleads us to the wrong path. He is also right when he says that we should go in for whole foods and follow such practices that helps us be grateful for the food that we eat.

    But when I read the book, what I found was for the most part, Pollan’s reasoning about nutrition and research concerning it was kind of uninformed and not too sophisticated. He is good when he describes why nutrition research is flawed but when it comes to giving examples and arguments, the studies and the observations he quotes, he has not done a good job there.

    I didn’t like it at all when he wrote that he has the right to talk and give nutrition advice because whatever he says he does with the authority of tradition and common sense. But if you ask me, that might account to only 80% of your way to a healthy diet. There is still 20% more and it is unfortunate that Pollan has no sense of this.
  3. Felix
    Highly Recommended
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 18, 2018
    Pollan has pointed out the obvious difference between packaged and canned foods that most of us prefer and fill our fridge with and real foods like fruits, whole grains, vegetables and all other kinds of natural foods.

    He argues and I think he is arguing it right when he says that we include more of those fake processed stuff in our daily diet and give a royal ignore to those food items that our bodies actually need.

    His book has taken nutritional science to an entirely different level. It has travelled its way from the kitchen to the expert laboratories.

    In simple words, this is what he has to say – “Eat Food, Not too much and eat mostly plant based food.” He says that we should try and eat more like how our ancestors did, before diabetes and all kinds of heart ailments came into picture.

    I was never a health conscious freak but his book has given me all the reasons on this earth to eat right and eat healthy. Whenever I consume any kind of food these days, a lot of thought process if it is the right and healthy thing for me to eat goes into it. And when I do it, I feel I am doing something revolutionary in these times of fast foods and ready to eat meals.
  4. Jordan
    Conflicting and not sincere
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2018
    I am not too sure about this book. I felt conflicted in many ways when I read this book. There is one part of me that agrees when Pollan says “Eat food but not too much and mostly plants” and I do agree with him that food science has not done its job right over the past several years.

    But then when I read further I found his style of writing to be hyperbole and not sincere. He sounds desperately persuasive but not with utmost sincerity. The info is good but there are many a places where it is just bad reporting without any substantial evidence and nothing else.

    There is the mention of a study which shows the troubles of western diet and in the study, a group of aboriginal Australians with some or the other kind of western diseases are chosen and they are made to give up city life and return to the forests to lead a gatherer’s life. It seems their diseases disappeared in due course of time and they became healthier than before and the author puts the entire blame on Western Diet.

    Now I don’t completely agree with that. Diet does play an important role but there are other factors too like hours of sleep, exposure to sunlight, quality of air one breathes, exercises and one’s state of mental health too.

    I enjoyed most of the book but I think the guy lacks notable and weighty evidence to back up what he says.
  5. Julio
    Hate it
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Aug 5, 2018
    I don’t think I have ever hated a book but after reading this one, I have one to list. And it is unfortunate because I do agree with the basics that the author has mentioned in this book.

    But I found it extremely painful and felt tortured reading this book. I read the first 65 pages and then gave up. Then I thought I should give it one more chance and this time I started from the last where the author has mentioned about the basic food rules and I gave up again after reading 10 pages or so.
  6. Dwight
    Good book
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 29, 2018
    This statement sums up the book – Eat food; Not much; Mostly Plants.

    In his books he makes references to eating real foods and to avoid the processed one that have been manufactured in some factory. And when he says mostly plans he wants us to eat leaves and fruits and not the seeds.

    In the same manner he recommends eating meat too. Instead of animals that are grown eating feed, he asks us to eat the meat of those that are fed on grass or natural food.

    There is also a lot of interesting info about the food that we eat and how we started eating it in the first place. He also points out that the same crop we derive our food from might have different nutritional values depending on the nutrients of the soil in which they are grown.

    It is an enjoyable read and one needn’t stress about those things that are not possible while reading them. That’s what I do!
  7. Hugh
    Life Changer
    4.5/5, 4.5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 24, 2018
    This book was an eye opener to me. The ideas and theories mentioned in the book are so simple that one should have noticed it in their daily lives without having to read the book. The fact that it never occurred to me or I failed to notice it made me so damn angry at myself.

    I thought I always ate healthy because I always chose food items made of those ingredients that were whole and complete in my eyes. The whole wheat pasta, the whole grain cereal, the almond flour muffins, the non-fat soy milk etc. are still processed and they are not that whole or fresh as we think them to be. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it all the time but I was so dam sucked up into the cult of nutritionism that I failed to notice it and if I wouldn’t have read this book, I would not have noticed it ever I guess.

    So, all that he advises in his book with the help of different examples that are based in research and studies is that one should aim to cook food and eat them fresh like how our grand mothers or great grand mothers did while avoiding all kinds of processed food at the same time.
  8. Nelson
    Eye opener
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 19, 2018
    This book has helped me change my whole relationship with food. It short yet powerful and conveys the right message in the most simple and understandable manner as possible.

    I feel everyone should read this even the ones who are eating healthy currently. You never know you may discover that you might have been doing many things wrong all this while thinking that it is healthy.

    It wouldn’t take one a long time to finish it and get the concepts what the author is trying to convey but once you do agree with what he has to say, it might transform your whole life.

    It has lead me to opt consciously to lead a healthy life and the first step to do so is to mend your ways with your diet because at the end of the day, you definitely are what you eat.

Book Summary

  1. Michael 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.

    Pollan proposes a new 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.

    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.
    Buk · Jul 13, 2018 · Updated Oct 3, 2018

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