Last week, Michael Pollan (author of the acclaimed The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
) did an interview with NPR's Science Friday in order to discuss his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
, whose contents can be summed up as, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Hidden in those seven words is an indictment of "Nutritionism," the philosophy that says that food must be approached as a scientific challenge, valued for its nutrients, which can be delivered in purer, industrialized (and highly profitable) forms in packaged, prepared dishes and ingredients.
Pollan makes a convincing case -- citing credible research -- that the science behind nutritionism is, at best, "promising" but not ready for primetime (he likens it to sixteenth century surgery: fascinating but not the kind of thing you want to be on the receiving end of). He explains how nutritionism has captured politics, so that the FDA isn't allowed to say, "Eat less red meat," but is backed into saying, "Make eating choices that are lower in saturated fats," prompting an industry to spring up around further industrialization of food to remove saturated fats. Nevermind that the science says, "Eat less red meat" -- by demonizing a nutrient, a blow to the cattle-ranchers is turned into an opportunity to create even greater markups on their product by charging a premium for engineered, "low in saturated fats" beef.
Pollan has a set of simple rules for eating that really resonate: "Shop the edges of the grocery store, not the middle," "Eat things your great grandmother might have eaten," "Eat nothing that bears a health or nutritional claim," and so on.
It's a delightful interview and it's led me to ordering the audiobook to listen to on my morning walks.
Link to In Defense of Food
Photographer Chris White takes readers behind the scenes of making his surf photography book Dark Light.
Eric Schlosser’s book and film Command and Control look at the terrifying prospects of nuclear friendly fire, where one of America’s nukes detonates on US soil. It also looks at what might happen if a false alarm gets relayed to a trigger-happy general or President. He starts this New Yorker piece with a terrifying story […]
Published by the fine fringe culture explorers at Daily Grail, the new essay anthology Spirits of Place features stories by the likes of Alan Moore, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, Warren Ellis, Gazelle Amber Valentine, Iain Sinclair, Mark Pesce, and many other mutant thinkers riffing on how we connect with the locations we inhabit. You can […]
With countless applications for modern life, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most in-demand fields of study in tech. Beyond modelling human decision making processes and learning abilities, AI can be used to analyze massive volumes of data and create complex interactive systems.This Machine Learning & AI for Business Bundle made mastering these concepts possible for […]
Computer hacking isn’t just something happening to the DNC. Major software companies need white-hat hackers to ensure the security of their products and users, and I came across a Computer Hacker Professional Certification Package that conveniently teaches those advanced IT techniques online.This course package will prepare you for various computer security certification exams with over 60 hours […]
One of the best ways to progress a career in project management is through earning recognized certifications. These certifications carry significant clout and don’t require expensive tuition or student loans. This Ultimate Project Management Certification Bundle is a great example of an affordable way to get ahead. It includes training for 9 certifications including PMP, […]