New Favorite Phrase

Michael Pollan is one of my favorite writers. He has a new book out, "In Defense of Food," which is a follow-up to his fabulous 2006 book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma." I'm still reading IDoF, but it's good. I don't agree totally with all of his points, but he does make a good case for eating wholesome food, not food products (butter as opposed to margarine, cheddar instead of Velveeta).

And one of his major premises is this: it's not something in the French diet or Greek diet that makes them "not get fat." Part of it is that they actually enjoy their food and enjoy eating.

What a concept.

Another of his beliefs is about eating local. Which brings me to my new favorite phrase. In an NPR interview a while back, he said that people need to (sit down, Laura!)

vote with their forks!

I love it!

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Anonymous said...

Just another way to transfer eating disorders and food fears to another eating ideology with no basis in science. Please be careful and realize that health, self worth or good citizenship is not tied with how/what you eat.

carrie said...

To say that health ISN'T tied to how and what you eat seems to me to be a bit ludicrous. Of course food has to do with health. It is, however, not the ONLY indicator of health.

But I don't always agree with Pollan, either. I don't think that margarine is necessarily bad for you, nor is Velveeta. Nor does eating them make you a bad person or a bad citizen. But I'd also rather put butter into my body than margarine. My choice. My preference. Eat what makes you happy and feel good. If you like Velveeta, all the power to you. I eat plenty of 'processed' stuff- and I'm cool with that. But if I have the option, I'd rather eat food as close to the source as possible. Why? It tastes better.

FWIW, I'm not keen on the subtitle of the book.

carrie said...

What I meant to say that came out wrong was this: any food is fine in moderation. Ultimately, everything comes down to that. There is no 'good' food, nor a 'bad' food.

On the other hand, you can have a serving of carbohydrates by having a handful of mini marshmallows or a serving of brown rice. According to the US govt (and WW), that's equivalent. A serving of grain. Granted, the govt also says that we shouldn't have added sugars, which is kind of silly.

Part of the nutritional value of food is in the food itself. You can swill Vitamin Water all you want, but you're probably better off getting your vitamins from the food itself.

My beef is that much of the research showing the benefits of Velveeta and margarine and the like are funded by the food industry. Mars is doing research to show the benefits of chocolate. Personally? I eat chocolate because I like it. And many of the studies showing the danger of obesity are funded by groups that would benefit from more people being terrified into starving themselves vis a vis dieting. It's hard to find research out there without an agenda.

Eat a wide variety of foods. Enjoy them. That's all.

samsi77 said...

Beyond the power of the Golden Fork! To follow what you said Carrie and in support of it, he is not referring to eating disorders but addressing "normalized eating". Obviously when an active ED is present that impedes ones ability to determine and recognize like verses dislike from the illness. Whereas the goal of dieting is deprivation.

Laura Collins said...

I'm in the middle of his Omnivore's Dilemma. Fascinating stuff.

It is a luxury to take a book about food and take from it what you find useful and leave behind what doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

I'd also recommend "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." It's not quite so didactic as "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and it really communicates the author's (Barbara Kingsolver's) belief in the joy of eating.

Tracey said...

I'm seconding anony's suggestiong to read AVM- it's a great book, Kingsolver takes us on an interesting journey with their family...and wonderful recipes from their eldest throughout.

Haven't read Pollan's book yet... so don't have much to add- sorry.


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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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