Michael Pollan's "In Defence of Food" is a simple invitation to junk the science, ditch the diet and instead rediscover the joys of eating well. This book is a celebration of food. By food, Michael Pollan means real, proper, simple food - not the kind that comes in a packet, or has lists of unpronounceable ingredients, or that makes nutritional claims about how healthy it is. More like the kind of food your great-grandmother would recognize. By following a few pieces of advice (Eat at a table - a desk doesn't count. Don't buy food where you'd buy your petrol!), you will enrich your life and your palate, and enlarge your sense of what it means to be healthy and happy. It's time to fall in love with food again. "Brings home the real wonder of eating food". ("Sunday Times"). "Instantly makes redundant all diet books and 99 per cent of discussions around healthy eating...Sense, at last". ("Daily Mail"). "Pollan invites us to grab our pots and pans and cook some real food for dinner". ("Time Out"). "Read this witty book for a healthier life and diet". ("The Times"). "Eminently sensible". (Fay Maschler, "Keynote"). "A must-read ...satisfying, rich ...loaded with flavour". ("Sunday Telegraph"). For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs, and architecture. His most recent book, about the ethics and ecology of eating, is "The Omnivore's Dilemma", named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post". He is also the author of "The Botany of Desire", "A Place of My Own" and "Second Nature".
Amazon Significant Seven, January 2008: Food is the one thing that Americans hate to love and, as it turns out, love to hate. What we want to eat has been ousted by the notion of what we should eat, and it's at this nexus of hunger and hang-up that Michael Pollan poses his most salient question: where is the food in our food? What follows in In Defense of Food is a series of wonderfully clear and thoughtful answers that help us omnivores navigate the nutritional minefield that's come to typify our food culture. Many processed foods vie for a spot in our grocery baskets, claiming to lower cholesterol, weight, glucose levels, you name it. Yet Pollan shows that these convenient "healthy" alternatives to whole foods are appallingly inconvenient: our health has a nation has only deteriorated since we started exiling carbs, fats--even fruits--from our daily meals. His razor-sharp analysis of the American diet (as well as its architects and its detractors) offers an inspiring glimpse of what it would be like if we could (a la Humpty Dumpty) put our food back together again and reconsider what it means to eat well. In a season filled with rallying cries to lose weight and be healthy, Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."--is a program I actually want to follow. --Anne Bartholomew