Michael Pollan has a new book out: In Defense of Food. From an interview with Grist:
The new book is called In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. It’s a book that really grew out of questions I heard from readers after Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was basically so how do you apply all this? Now that you’ve looked into the heart of the food system and been into the belly of the beast, how should I eat, and what should I buy, and if I’m concerned about health, what should I be eating? I decided I would see what kind of very practical answers I could give people.
Pollan is one of my favourite writers. The Botany of Desire is the best “Botany for the masses” book I have read. The Omnivore’s Dilemna is a great book as well. So when I heard mention of this new book, I was immediately interested. Looking at the interview, it appears that the new book is along the lines of the piece he wrote for the New York Times earlier this year which began with
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Pollan returns to this idea in the Grist interview.
I spent a lot of time looking at the science of nutrition, and learned pretty quickly there’s less there than meets the eye, and that the scientists really haven’t figured out that much about food. Letting them tell us how to eat is probably not a very good idea, and indeed the culture — which is to say tradition and our ancestors — has more to teach us about how to eat well than science does. That was kind of surprising to me.
It really comes down to seven words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
The interview also delves into reactions to The Omnivore’s Dilemna, and how it has affected things like the Farm Bill and Whole Foods. With regards to the Farm Bill, Pollan says:
I was just on the phone this morning with a congressman (and by the way, they’re calling me, I’m not calling them at this point, and I think that’s interesting). There’s more politics around the farm bill — more grassroots politics, more reform politics — than there has been in a generation. At the same time, and as a result of that, there has been a defensive reaction that has been fierce.
It’s a great interview, the kind of thing I wish I could see live. It’s well worth reading.