Pollan insists that this thinking is one of the major factors of the obesity and health crisis in the United States. There are others, such as the structure of what he calls “the standard American diet” and its overemphasis on meat and our overconsumption of seeds (rice, corn, etc) and not leaves (spinach and other greens). In this way, his controversial stance that he is defending “food” becomes clear. Pollan is defending food—real food, that is, food that isn’t heavily advertised or doesn’t come with toys in the box but is nevertheless the substance of the building blocks of healthy eating.
This is, indeed, heady stuff, but the book also has extremely logical and simple “food rules” that Pollan translates into very matter-of-fact ways of making food choices (He will later go on to write a whole book of common-sense ways of choosing food, titled, aptly “Food Rules”). The third part of the book deals with these. Pollan has a spectacular versatility with his language that allows him to discuss food in a very “meta” way, while in another chapter offering very accessible and usable new ways of thinking and looking at food. Albeit, Michael Pollan argues, these are not new ways of looking at food, but are, instead, old ways that have been lost due to the radical ways that we have changed how we eat and how we make food in the last fifty years.
Pollan streamlines his thinking into three simple, almost monosyllabic sentences: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Simple, yet deceptively so, and that is why I consider the reading of this book essential to really comprehend why concepts such as our CSA are a radical but positive departure from conventional eating, and also, why these new ideas and concepts are so very important for our health.
by Johanna (Turf CSA Member)