Michael Pollan

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http://www.democracynow.org/2008/2/13/in_defense_of_food_author_journalis t
February 13, 2008
In Defense of Food: Author, Journalist Michael Pollan on Nutrition, Food Science and the American Diet
Acclaimed author and journalist Michael Pollan argues that what most Americans are consuming today is not food but edible food-like substances. His previous book, The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. His latest book, just published, is called In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto.
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Billy

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What is a food like substance? Its either food or it is not.
Carbohydrates, sugars are basic food. What is a edible food-like substance?
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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cheeze whiz comes to mind
if it comes in a box, a heavy plastic bag (like doritos), or a pressurized can you can be pretty sure it's not really food. I'd include regular cans in this as well but there may still be a few bits of honest food that show up in cans. I suppose that it's possible that some real food may show up in boxes but I doubt it.
Given all the crap they pump into meat and poultry these days I'm not sure whether I'd call those real food anymore... but you have to eat something.
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symplastless wrote:

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maple, black birch, hickory, walnut, hazel, chestnut, apple, pear, plum, peach, citrus...
lee <you knew someone would be a smartass>
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ct.net.au:

i dunno... i'd argue with the edible part. "food-like" certainly covers most prepackaged stuff though. i wonder though, do the people who *should* read these books actually read them, or are the readers those who already know that American prepackaged food is crap read them & just feel smug? is he reaching the proper audience, or just preaching to the choir? lee
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The Omnivore's Dilemma is well worth reading, there's nothing smug about it at all - and as reaches more people than the target audience it will spread the necessary message - the public needs to understand that all that 'nutritional information' published by so many sources is really just advertisements for industrial food, and Michael Pollan delivers that message eloquently. It's easy to read, entertaining, well-written.
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Like the man said,"The proof is in the pudding." If your not willing to try it, I guess you'll never know and, just have to go on wondering.
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On 2/14/08 9:36 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@c-61-68-245-199.per.connect.net.au, "Billy"

I've read him (and others in his general vein) in the past. I suspect I'll nab Omnivore one of these days, but right now, I do my best to feed my family well and that's all I can do.
C
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Hey, that's the best any of us can do but best is also a function of knowledge. The "Omivore's Dilemma" is not a book from a general vein of books. "Ommivore's Dilemma" is the new gold standard. Before I read "Omnivore's Dilemma", I didn't know that insects attacked vegetable leaves because that is where the nitrogen from "chem ferts" is stored. I didn't know about phto-nutrients. I didn't realize that we eat more corn per capita than Mexicans. I didn't understand that impoverished farmers and poorly fed citizens could track the cause back to Cargill and ADM. I didn't know the that omega-3 fatty acids in animals were a function of them eating grasses. I wasn't aware that we could all be eating well, if the government only put its' price supports behind healthy foods.
Without the knowledge to choose, your just rolling the dice with your food choices.
The interview with Michael Pollan takes about 32 minutes. Do you have 32 minutes to give to your family's health?
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On 2/14/08 1:55 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@c-61-68-245-199.per.connect.net.au, "Billy"

Well, Billy, I knew some of those tidbits, but all. I did know that we should all eat more fruit and veggies and lay off the white bread and anything with added chemicals and food tasted better from the farm stand than the supermarket. But hell Billy, I knew that in the late 70's.
C
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Well, slap yourself on the back. One reason that you may have known it was the 5-a-day program that was sponsored back then by the government. Eat 5 portions of fruits or vegetables every day. It didn't say, don't eat something, which always gets the lobbyists up in a lather. But after showing marked improvements in nutrition for a very small promotional budget, the program was de-funded. You can read more about it, if you wish, in "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health" by Marion Nestle.
Knowledge is based on accessibility. Impeding it doesn't help anyone except, those who prey on ignorance. As a student I found that I needed to read a book three times before I truly understood it. Then again, not all books are for all people. So where do you get your nutritional information Cheryl, divine revelation, natural smarts, media, or books. If books, which ones? I'm also interested in what enigma said s/he was reading.
There seems to be a strong general need for this information, otherwise nutritional/ecological/moral books wouldn't be selling as strongly as they have. I'm sure this is at least in part a response to America's medical profile of being obese, prone to cardiovascular disease, fatigued, and more and more, type II diabetic.
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ct.net.au:

huh? did you not read what i wrote? i do not like preprocessed food. i do most of my cooking/baking from scratch & with whole grain flours. those are the flavors i enjoy. what i'm asking is if these books are getting to the people who don't know what real food is, or if it's only people who already reject the plastic food that read them. lee
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The people who are eating faux food are either too ignorant to even know there's a problem or just too stupid to care. These books are pretty much read by those who want to confirm ("I knew that and he agrees with me!") what they already know and perhaps add some smidgeon of information or just leave it on the coffee table for visitors to see while they hide the Cheetos in the back closet. The people who would actually glean any new life changing knowledge from this book are a nano percent of those who buy the book. JMO
Val
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Perhaps too poor to do otherwise.
Quality comes to mind and what that is is the issue.
Bill
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Nah, I know plenty of well-off people who just plain don't think about what they eat. They want quick food, not necessarily good food.

True, but quality isn't always pricey.
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so, as i suspect, he's just preaching to the choir. :( lee
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snipped-for-privacy@evil.net says...

So you"re saying that the choir doesn't need to be preached to?
It is the choir's voices that will make the difference in the end because the metaphorical choir amplifies the message and has more influence on and in real life.
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Who do you think "should" read "these types" of books (just another same ol'). What is the "proper audience"? If you can't be bothered, don't read the book. If you know all that is known about nutrition, then you don't need to read the book. But Pollan has brought the message of why industrial foods are bad to the 21st century. The forging of the diverse food movements into a single low carbon, healthy, slow food movement seems to have been precipitated by "Omnivore's Dilemma". What do feed lots have to do with cardio-vascular disease, when there are cultures that eat more meat than our's and don't suffer the same consequences? What does high fructose corn syrup have to do with obesity and type II diabetes? What are all those strange ingredients listed on the back of a cookie package? Is organic worth the extra price? Why are small mono-culture farmers having such a rough time surviving?
As Bill Wagner has pointed out, we now have a two tiered food system (industrial and industrial-organic). What is the difference? Obviously, Pollan mainly reaches the literate among us: people who read books. Knowing that the supermarket is filled with life threatening products (crap as you say) does not make me feel "smug" or, is that your way of feeling superior? If you wanted to explain to someone why processed food is bad, could you?
You will pleased to know that Pollan says in his most recent book,"Don't eat anything that your great grand mother wouldn't have recognized as food". He also suggests eating from the edges of the store, where the meat, cheese, and the produce is.
If your not curious what the fuss is about or, if you just don't care, don't read the book. I mean, if you know where all the furniture in the room is, why turn on the light?
The Omnivores Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. (yawn . . .)
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ct.net.au:

but, Billy, if the general population is NOT reading the book & not becoming educated, what difference will it ever make if *i* know what he says is true? yes, i have a 7 year old that reads the ingredients lists on packages & outright refuses to eat/drink anything containing HFCS. but he's one of how many thousands of 7 year olds? how is this book going to change how chosing healthy foods is taught in schools? how is it even going to change what kind of crap is *served* at schools? if the only people who are reading his books are people who already agree & just want confirmation, well, how is that going to change what the poor can afford to eat?
i'm not arguing that these aren't good, useful books (i have the new one, but not Omnivore's Dilemma), but i am saying that they probably aren't reaching those who need to really understand that preprocessed foods are NOT cheap, healthy choices. *those* people are frequently too busy to read, illiterate, non-English speakers, etc. lee
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