Book map / sketch © Austin Kleon
With 2015 coming to a close, we decided our December / January pick will be a New Year’s resolution of sorts. Not to mention how busy things get during these months, hence the combining of December and January.
Anyway, our resolution is to learn something new. So for these months we’ll be choosing a non-fiction book to begin 2016 with something new and different.
Without further delay… this month(s)’ pick is Michael Pollan’s #1 New York Times Bestseller In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Pollan is an American journalist, activist and author. His books focus on our country’s growing dilemma with food, its process, the way we eat, and what we eat. In one of his earlier books published in 2006, An Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan established a critique of how agribusiness have lost touch with the natural cycles of farming, wherein livestock and crops intertwine in mutually beneficial circles. His perspectives on food, farming, and our consumptions are unique, controversial and modern.
Our selection, In Defense of Food published in 2008, is a follow-up to An Omnivore’s Dilemma and was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for 6 weeks. It focuses on both what we’re eating and how we’re eating it: “Instead of food, we’re consuming ‘edible foodlike substances’ — no longer the products of nature but of food science.” As Pollan argues, “Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.” So if real food, as Pollan labels it, is in need of defense, who are we defending it from and why?
In this book Pollan provides an answer to this question in a simple, approachable way showing us how, despite our daunting dietary landscape, we can escape the Western diet and most of the chronic diseases that diet causes.
We hope you’ll read along with us and learn more about one of our most basic needs and its affect on our health.
For more of a preview, check out this NPR story…
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