Somehow all my Michael Pollan library requests came through at the same time. I just finished his most recent book, In Defense of Food.
Something about this book touches the part of me that naturally mistrusts doctors (and varying degrees of eggheads all over). I have only just recently learned some of the nutritionist lingo, but who hasn’t been skewered by some smug nutritionists at some point in their life? Pollan’s big idea is to steer clear of foods (what he would describe as pseudo-foods) more than five ingredients, long chemical names, and (especially) any food with a health claim on its label. Why? Because you’re better off. The whole process of getting food to your table is highly politicized, with big business looking out for shareholder interests, instead of yours or mine. Trans fats anyone?
So I was totally onboard with Pollan’s smackdown of the nutritionist until I came to the part where he suggest we should make our meals more of a social event. He wants us to engage with food in ways that foster community and ritual. Yeah, yeah.
Sounds good until I realize this means we can no longer eat meals at our desks. What? That’s where I draw the line.
It’s funny how you don’t realize how important something is to you until someone tries to take it away.