"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These are the first words of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Scott Brick narrates these opening sentences with slowly paced emphasis and a nicely modulated deftness, with a hint of coyness. The coyness is Pollan's. For what else can one eat but food? And why does eating need a manifesto? Pollan answers that we increasing do not eat food (whole food) but rather consume processed "food products". We are in "The Age of Nutritionism". Pollan's In Defense of Food is a richly developed polemic against the unhealthful food culture that the ideology of nurtitionism represents. The book is as well a de facto manual for growing and eating our way out of it.
Brick is a compelling spokesman for Pollan's argument. He brings to In Defense of Food a voice in the baritone-to-tenor range, with an always on-the-mark sonic focus matched with a point of expressive emphasis that constantly shifts, as Brick makes his flawless and fluent runs up and down and within his octave ranges. Brick's doing all of this can only be achieved by natural talent, disciplined training, and smart reading joined by a mastery of a quite large array of narrative and expressive skills.
It is very likely that somewhere in some academic haven there are specific concepts and a precise language that could quantify and describe what goes on with Brick's narrative voice. In the end, though, it all comes down to art. Using, with apologies, an extended metaphor, that of jazz: Brick picks up his axe (saxophone), fingering the notes and changing the octaves with the keys; with his fine set of chops (lips) applies the pressure onto the sax's mouth piece and reed, and, modulating the breath and applying nuances of feeling and expression, blows -- that is, in jazz-speak -- plays. The well-argued and passionate polemic that is In Defense of Food is, in this audio production, a show piece showcasing Scott Brick's narrative range and dexterity. David Chasey
In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy.
©2008 Michael Pollan; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks
michael pollan was brilliant as usual; i expected as much and was even intrigued as the book went on!! however the narrator was awful for this book. he was strangely dramatic for a non-fiction book, not a good fit.
If I had the time, I would have preferred the print version just because of the narrator.
I really appreciated all the scientifically backed information that is presented in an understandable way without getting so deep into the science to lose the flow of the book.
No, the narrator did a fine job if he was reading Shakespeare or a gossip column. His emphasis on words made a well written book about something as every day as food seem really pretentious and stuffy.
Great book, really helps concrete the history of how the western diet was incrementally developed, where we went wrong, and how we can rationally eat to avoid the negative health effects. All while keeping eating a fun and fulfilling activity.
Great information from Michael Pollan, as usual, but the narration can be a bit too dramatic for the subject matter. Overall, great book!
motivated me to go to a farmers market and to start spending more time cooking and enjoying my food. I need to be the example for my son and change!
If you suspect that you should be changing the way you eat in order to lead a healthier and happier life, read this book, and you will find the inspiration to do it.
Yes, no matter what your dietary preferences, this book shines a light on the problem areas and let's you navigate your own way in between. I eat a plant based diet most of the time, but meat and dairy eaters will not be talked down to in this book and you will learn the best ways to work them into your diet.
Only if it were fiction. His dramatic reading of the subject almost ruined it for me. It was almost like a joke. Like a caricature of a dramatic reading. I've heard Michael Pollan speak and I would rather he had just read it.
If you're looking for a detailed eating plan or any specific guidelines, you wont find them. I found myself searching online for "What bread or cracker would Michael Pollan approve of?" I'm pretty nutritionally savvy but I was still unclear of how "whole" the bread had to be. Did I need to grind my own wheat berries? Could my bread come out of a package?
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