Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This book is fantastic. A little dry at times but a real eye opener. Many of the things we eat cannot be classified as food. The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar business but yet we are the fattest industrialized nation on the planet. Pollan's theory is that the rise of "nutritionism" has lead to us eating worse. Regular vitamins found in nature are being replaced by fake foods loaded with "nutrients". Remember how people were freaking out about eating butter so they switched to "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" and other manufactured spreads? Turns out those spreads are a heck of a lot worse for you to eat. Plus they taste like crap. I haven't bought margarine in years and I refuse to eat it. If I want butter on my toast I will eat some, not some pretend butter. It's all about moderation.
I was reading a low-fat yogurt label and was shocked to see that it had high fructose corn syrup in it? WTF? It's dairy product. It seems corn syrup is in everything. My whole wheat bread...that is good for you right? The third ingredient? High fructose corn syrup. sigh.
Pollan also talks a little about how big agri-business has changed the way we eat. It's depressing. The typical American diet is responsible for many of the major health issues we have, esp. adult onset diabetes. Instead of addressing the root causes we stick Omega 3 into foods that don't have them naturally.
Some of his solutions are:
Pay more, eat less. We love big portions here. Quantity does not equal quality.
Eat meals. That seems like common sense but 1/5 of American adults eat in the car. We snack more and rarely sit down to eat a meal.
Try to eat foods that your grandparents would recognize. We are eating less variety now than two generations ago.
Shop at farmers markets/try to eat food that is in season
I want to read his other book "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Do you think American food culture will change for the better or the worse?