exploring life in all its variety

February 20, 2008

The argument for fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

In an interview at Alternet titled Michael Pollan Debunks Food Myths, author Michael Pollan discusses his new book, In Defense of Food. He talks about why news of the latest scientific nutritional studies is probably not the best source for nutrition information, and how the best eating advice given to Americans in the past five decades is probably the simplest — that fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good for us. According to him, we’re likely best off getting back to basics.

Pollan says:

“I’m not a Luddite; I’m not anti-science. I’m fascinated by nutritional science. But I’ve also acquired a healthy skepticism about how much and how little they know. It has only been around for about 175 years. Its history is of one overlooked nutrient after another. As I see it, nutrition science is kind of where surgery was in the year 1650, which is to say very interesting and promising, but do you really want to get on the table yet?” (read article)

Further on, Pollan mentions how the “imitation rule” was eliminated by the FDA, without going through Congress, and how what we eat has in some sense become a political statement. According to Pollan, cooking our own food from scratch may now be a subversive act:

“It’s funny to think of something as domestic as cooking and gardening as subversive, but it is. It is the beginning of taking back control from a system that would much rather do everything for you.” (read article)

File: — Barbara @ 2:02 pm PST, 02/20/08

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