Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - The most brilliant writer on diet around-must read
03-26-2008, 08:33 AM
Michael Pollan, is brilliant. He is a journalism professor at Berkeley and in my mind the most profound, important, and HELPFUL writer about food and diet in the world. Yes he is that good.
If you do one thing this year about food, go to his website. It is michaelpollan dot com
He has at the bottom (once you click on writing) graciously reprinted articles he has written for the New York Times. The best I have read is Unhappy Meals. It is not a particularly easy read because he is dealing with complex subjects but he is a good and clear writer. It is so powerful though that is getting me to this time really switch to more vegetables, whole grains, and non-processed foods.
I have read a handful of his articles over the years and they are all fantastic. He is also an author of some well known and well received books, Botany of Desire people may know.
If you read unhappy meals it will change your life, potentially, and you will want to share it with everyone you know. Who knows? Maybe we can start a Michael Pollan movement here. I do not think anything in the world would make him happier or us healthier.
I do not say must read lightly btw. This is the most brilliant writing you will ever find on food and diet. IMHO of course :)
03-26-2008, 09:20 AM
I keep meaning to pick up Botany of Desire. A coworker read it recently and can't stop talking about it. Omnivore's Dilemma was fantastic. Anyone read In Defense of Food? Sounds like a good premise but haven't picked that one up either :p
Thanks for pointing out his website, I'd love to check out some of his article-length pieces!
03-26-2008, 09:27 AM
One aside about his articles that might be helpful. They come up on small print on his website. I use windows and used control c but then I did not just paste to word. I used paste special and choose unformmated text (after trying html and formatted text). That comes out best. You just get the text. You can then change the font, font size, zoom whatever to make it very easy to read.
The unhappy meal is a summary of Omnivore's Dilemma. If you read it, trust me, it will change your life for the better and you will want to share with family and friends. I know tonight I am going to have my wife read it and we will start planning and ENACTING the changes to our lives.
03-26-2008, 01:40 PM
Hrm. I read the article while eating my lunch. I really enjoyed reading some of the history of "nutritionism". Being that I was born in '83, I know of no time in my life when nutrition labels weren't on foods that I ate. Heck, I remember a few lessons in school about nutrition labels. That made this doubly fascinating. Thanks for posting!
03-26-2008, 02:45 PM
It's about time!!! Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant. Can't wait to get to B&N.
03-26-2008, 03:04 PM
:lol: This part totally made me start giggling in my office:
Of course it's also a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a potato or carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over, the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness.
03-26-2008, 04:23 PM
Also silence of the yams....
I wonder how the 'new' subsitute stuff compares to butter. We use country crock light that says zero trans fat. But maybe we should switch to unsalted butter? I am going to be buying a lot less processed foods after reading that. Just makes so much sense..just like the panel that got hijaked was using very simple but powerful advice at first. Really simple when you just approach it from a holistic perspective.
03-26-2008, 06:06 PM
I love Michael Pollan! I have read both "Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food", and both of them have had a major impact on my thoughts about food and eating. I really enjoyed IDOF and the way it read as a book - I actually pick it up all the time, flip it open somewhere, and just start reading parts over again.
I love his "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." philosophy, and use much of the information I've learned from his books when I plan my meals. Between Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle (I really love "How to Eat" also!), and the Superfoods, I feel like I finally know so much about what/how to eat now. In the past, as much as I felt like choosing what to eat should be "easy", it always became complicated - there was so much choice and conflicting information about what is good for you and what isn't. It's kind of like a veil lifting - I feel like I can navigate a supermarket clearly now, because I can filter out a good 90% of what's on the shelves. Knowing the "whys" behind why I should filter out that 90% is so helpful, too.
03-26-2008, 11:51 PM
Reading Michael Pollan has definitely changed how I think about food and how it is produced. Great reading.
03-29-2008, 04:08 PM
I just finished In Defense of Food, and the historical long-view that he takes on the western diet was incredible. It answers the question of "how did we get to this??" handily and has alot of good theories and insights into why americans are so comparitively unhealthy!
The bit about the word association study actually brought tears to my eyes. People in France and the USA were asked for the first word that pops into their head when they hear certain other words, and one of them was "chocolate cake". The number one response for Americans was "guilt". For the French it was "celebration".