• In Defense of Food

  • An Eater's Manifesto
  • By: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (4,593 ratings)

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In Defense of Food  By  cover art

In Defense of Food

By: Michael Pollan
Narrated by: Scott Brick
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Editorial 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

#1 New York Times Bestseller from the author of This is Your Mind on Plants, How to Change Your Mind, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and Food Rules

Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion—most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

©2008 Michael Pollan (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Michael Pollan [is the] designated repository for the nation's food conscience."—Frank Bruni, The New York Times

"In this slim, remarkable volume, Pollan builds a convincing case not only against that steak dinner but against the entire Western diet."The Washington Post

"A tough, witty, cogent rebuttal to the proposition that food can be reduced to its nutritional components without the loss of something essential . . . [a] lively, invaluable book."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

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