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In Defense of Food | [Michael Pollan]

In Defense of Food

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion.
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Audible Editor Reviews

"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

Publisher's Summary

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible food-like substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Rain Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada 02-15-11
    Rain Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada 02-15-11
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    "great book, blah narrator"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Ann Arbor, MI, USA 09-14-09
    Phillip Ann Arbor, MI, USA 09-14-09
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    "your health"

    what you know about food will determine your health

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    history buff louisiana 08-26-09
    history buff louisiana 08-26-09 Member Since 2008

    carol

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    "IF YOU EAT FOOD, THIS IS A MUST!"

    another home-run for pollan! pollan for president!

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dani Smith 05-29-15
    Dani Smith 05-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Another great story about where food comes from"

    In short: the garden. Everything I've read by Michael Pollan teaches me more about food, and what it means to be the human link in a complex world of food. As a total fast American, I suffer from fast food life too. This book made me consider how best I can use my time to get back to the garden, and back to the kitchen.
    My fiancee and made a taco dinner last night in 10 minutes, with nothing but fresh chopped whole foods and organic taco shells. Is that really slower than waiting in line for take-out?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Noel Hogan 04-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Reality check"

    It is about time Americans wake up to our eating habits. Hope everyone reads this book and decides to take action and live a healthier lifestyle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer North Plainfield, NJ United States 04-04-15
    Amazon Customer North Plainfield, NJ United States 04-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Solid follow up to Omnivore's Delema."

    Solid follow up to Omnivore's Delema with lots of interesting data I never imagined which showed the level of research performed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bries Deerrose 01-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Decent"

    Not profound or particularly moving, but a good summary & synthesis of the current state of nutritionism and environmentalist agriculture. The gist of it is a bit daunting: basically find more time, more money, and do more work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    JV 01-10-15
    JV 01-10-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Gets you thinking"

    Full of lots of great information. Gets you thinking and motivates you to think about what you're putting in your mouth. Would definitely listen to more books by this author. Narration was great also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 01-07-15
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    "Eat food and as a result be healthy."

    Excellent and straight-forward. Id recommend to those who have lost touch of their ancient connection to food and what it meand to truly be healthy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Stephanie Bergstresser 01-04-15
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    "Good Read"

    I always enjoy Michael Pollan's books. Scott Brick is a good narrator. In Defense of Food focuses more on the health benefits of a whole food diet rather than the ecological benefits. Although I learned a lot from this book I still prefer The Omnivore's Dilemma and Cooked in terms of writing style. Pollan is an excellent storyteller and that doesn't come out as much is this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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