Listen up those of you who ate a breakfast of liquids loaded with vitamin supplements and fortified sugary cereal.
Michael Pollan has garnered plenty of attention lately with his eater's manifesto, In Defense of Food, which is a follow-up to his 2006 bestseller Omnivore's Dilemma. In today's New York Sun, Gabrielle Birkner writes about Pollan's advice to eat mostly plants, consume proper portions, and focus on food your great-grandmother would recognize.
Birkner says in her review: "Mr. Pollan writes that the latter part of the 20th century ushered in America's 'Age of Nutritionism,' in which whole foods such as those our ancestors ate have been largely supplanted by fortified, foodlike products, prepared in factories and laboratories. Many of these processed edibles are low in fat and make all sorts of health claims; but they have ultimately turned us into an overfed but undernourished people prone to many chronic ailments."
She refers to products such as SnackWell's, the line of low- and no-fat dessert items. How on earth didn't we realize that "fat-free devil's food cookie" is an oxymoron? (And why do we want our chocolate without fat?)
If you haven't read the book yet, Birkner isn't spoiling the ending by telling you that Pollan is ultimately optimistic. She explains: "Here in New York, the past year has yielded a proliferation of popular greenmarket-themed eateries, with menus touting fare that was locally raised or grown. And the author writes of a resurgence of farmers' markets and the rising demand for organic foods. '[F]or the first time in a generation, it is possible to leave behind the Western diet without having also to leave behind civilization,' he writes."
So you needn't travel far for your lunch, but try to make sure granny would recognize what's on your plate.
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