Feb 1, 2009

Books - Michael Pollan

I heard a few people positively mentioning Michael Pollan's - The Omnivore Dilemma, so I read it and I loved it so much that I had to also read In Defense of Food. 

Finally food and nutrition books that make sense instead of scaring you to death and making you wonder how come other people aren't dead by now with the food they eat. The Omnivore Dilemma starts by  describing the industry of growing corn in America and all its uses, and the drama of both the producer and the consumer in an industrialized agriculture. It continues with a trip to a "post-organic" farm in Virginia, and end with his adventures in hunting and gathering the food for a meal the way our ancestors must have done it. 

In Defense of Food suggests a heathier way of eating that might help avoid the Western diseases. It explains where nutritionism and reductionist studies fail. He suggests that we restart eating the way our ancestors did and keep the food culture alive. We need to know where our food comes from and need to be mindful while eating it.

I especially loved The Omnivore Dilemma... as I read through it, I wanted to go and start a farm myself... 

In the end I have an idea where I want to go and I have a probable explanation for my ulcerative colitis. While this was not mentioned as one of the Western Diseases, I think it fits right in. The books are very well researched, they are shockful of references.

My conclusions: over the next couple of years I will work on restarting to eat the way my parents did, I will start my own garden and will subscribe to a CSA. I will work toward going less often to grocery stores and on eating more plants and more diverse foods. I will also work towards becoming more mindful of our eating and cook more. I will prefer food quality to food quantity.

And I now decided: I do not want to become a vegetarian. I will try to shift the ratio from meat towards plants, but I see no need to give up meat completely. (check meat.org if you want to become a vegetarian)



Unknown said...

That is indeed a powerful book... I was in a class that read it, and we ended up feeling guilty about eating virtually everything in our cupboards for about a week, including Cheerios. It really made me appreciate all that I put into my body, and where it came from. Books like this make you so much more mindful...

I'm vegetarian inclined myself. I believe we're meant to be omnivores, and while lots of people overdo meat its healthy to eat it, especially when done in an environmentally/socially conscious and balanced way.

Most of all I wanted to tell you that social anxiety has an end! I had it for about 4-5 miserable years, but now I love going up to people and talking to them, even dancing without fear in front of a crowd... things impossible when I had SA, when walking into a room was hard enough sometimes, let alone saying more than 'hi.' Have hope and keep working on it :-) If you need help, I and other SA-survivors will gladly reach out a hand.

Best wishes, you will one day be free of this.

Much love,

Unknown said...

Read it and it's a great book. Do you have any other books like this to recommend?