Food / Health / Lifestyle

10 reasons why this book should be on your bookshelf

This book is not like your regular health books. It’s funny, full of anecdotes and educational. Pollan does great job of simplifying health for you. He goes back to the beginning to explain how the current problems we have with our food and health came about. Even with topics such as nutritionism that you though you were well educated about, Pollard, gives new meaning to this ideology ensuring that you will never look at food the same way ever again.

He also answers the most critical question that we have about food. What should we be eating?

Pollan says;

  • Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.This simple answers our everyday dilemma of what we should be eating. As a society, we eat less real food. Because of the extensive and often conflicting scientific evidence, we should eat food that our ancestors would recognise. According to Pollan, that means ;“don’t eat anything incapable of rotting.”


  • So how can you avoid eating the wrong food? “Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar B) unpronounceable C) more than five in number or that include D) high-fructose corn syrup.”


  • The only person stopping you from buying healthier food is you. Pollan exposes our hypocrisy  by saying that; “while it is true that many people simply can’t afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we’ve somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans ( and other nations), spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority.”


  • So how should you shop for your food? Pollan has two things to say about that. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle and secondly, shake the hand of the person that grows your food.


  • Just because you’re full it doesn’t mean you are nourished. The abundance of food has caused us to overeat nutritionally empty food.


  • If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.


  • In case you didn’t know, government policies play a huge role in what we eat. The subsidisation of cheap mass produced corn ensures that it will be the cheapest product on the shelf.


  • The only way you can avoid this is if you grown your own food.


  • The more processed your food is, the greater its costs. Pollan has a simple equation for what you should eat. “Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals].”


  • Remember; “You are what you eat eats.”

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