Customer Reviews for

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Food You will Love

I just read a number of reviews and want to write something a little different than what has been expressed. If this diet is new to you and you are afraid you won't like it, relax. A major change in diet takes time getting used to,but the foods Michael Pollan recomme...
I just read a number of reviews and want to write something a little different than what has been expressed. If this diet is new to you and you are afraid you won't like it, relax. A major change in diet takes time getting used to,but the foods Michael Pollan recommends we eat are delicious. At one time, I ate processed food, much of it with a high fat content, too much salt and so on. For years now, I have eaten what Pollan suggests. I love the food I eat and now find fatty, processed foods to be inedible. My tastes have changed. This winter I have been experimenting with new vegetables and ingredients. Yum! Load me up on the simple but delicious flavors of real food! Author ofthe award winning book,Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet

posted by Anonymous on March 31, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

mc-4-ws

Although I am still reading this book, I found tons of useful facts that I didn't even know, and some I did know as well. When I was reading I noticed that Pollan used humor, or at least some things I thought funny, and that made the book even better. It was an easy rea...
Although I am still reading this book, I found tons of useful facts that I didn't even know, and some I did know as well. When I was reading I noticed that Pollan used humor, or at least some things I thought funny, and that made the book even better. It was an easy read, but also a little drug on for me. I know you can go on and on when writting research, but I found myself putting it down at boring parts. All in all the book was alright, and I did learn alot.

posted by mc-4-ws on January 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2008

    Hooray for Common Sense!

    When I started to really examine the food I was eating (and feeding my family) last year, it was because of Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and the shock-on-every-page quality of what it revealed. 'In Defense of Food' is an excellent follow-up to that book. It's a quick read, but that's because its message is short and sweet. Instead of the convoluted messaging we get about nutrition from many sources (eat this! NO! eat that!), Pollan provides a very practical, common sense approach to what constitutes healthy eating. I didn't buy this book with the intention of treating it as a diet book, but I decided to try eating according to Pollan's guidelines. After just two weeks I have dropped 5 lbs and have a lot more focus and energy. (Though I have to admit that I haven't been able to stick to the rule about not eating at your desk since it's hard to get away for lunch at my job.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    Must Read

    Michael Pollan has put into words what has been slowly creeping into my consciousness. He is right, we can no longer trust the 'authorities' to tell us what to eat. Real food is superior to manufactured food. We should eat what is natural, food as it appears in nature without altering its form. Perhaps we can change the course of disease in our society by changing the one aspect that we can control and that is what we choose to eat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Outstanding!

    In Defense of Food is a well-written and well-researched book that offers a lot of advice and help for those who love to cook. I think it is a terrific addition to any home library of cookbooks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    PICK THIS BOOK UP!!!

    Finally! First off, I am a personal fitness trainer and competitive drug free bodybuilder---so fitness, diet and exercise has been a major part of my life for over a decade. And, In Defense of Food, is a smart, well-written, down-to-earth discussion about making sound choices, not getting caught up in the hype, and choosing to do something healthy for your body. I am still reading it, and will re-read it to refresh myself. But, if you want some real information, and thus real healthy results, then read this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2014

    Everyone should read!

    At first I thought it was just another book saying the same old, same old. But, once I got past the first few pages I was hooked. This book has changed how I look at "food". I will never buy anything again before checking out the label - My mantra now is "five ingredients or less" and if I can't spell it or my grandmother never heard of the ingredient I won't buy it. It also changed how I look at organic products. I used to think just about the outside of the fruit or vegetable now I look at the nutrient value that organic food provides vs. conventional. It has made a major change in how I eat and view what I put into my body. Everyone should read it. I bought my own copy (after taking it out of the library first for a book club selection). I offer to lend it to all my friends so I can share the information.

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" is an incre

    "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" is an incredible read! It completely changed the way that I thought about how I thought about food in the same way that "Supersize Me" did. Pollan's simple, but incredibly insightful, look at how Americans figure out what to eat is truly life-changing. Unlike "Supersize Me", the focus is not on fast food (although it is discussed). In this book, Pollan focuses on the health food industry itself. He argues that our insane addiction to counting calories, demonizing fat, and looking for one-nutrient wonders is destroying our relationship with real food.








    If you are tired or confused of all of the contradictory nutrition information, this book is a must read! 




    Pros: Easy to understand, engaging content, 




    Cons: Does not offer a specific answer, though he does offer various ways on eating healthier eating real food. Most of the tips are the same as other books (eat more vegetables, eat organic, etc.), but he offers some interesting recommendations as well.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is the m

    "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is the main theme throughout and a good summary of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food; it even appears on the cover! The book is divided into three parts:

    Part 1, The Age of Nutritionism, dismantled a lot of misconceptions I had, leaving me frustrated and suspicious of most nutritional information I've received throughout my life. The problems with research are so complex, with countless variables impossible to isolate. On top of that, business and politics muddy the waters in some pretty despicable ways.

    Part 2, The Western Diet and the Diseases of Civilization, is where I started to feel bogged down. Reading this section was slow going, but I greatly appreciated the how thorough and well-researched it was.

    Part 3, Getting Over Nutritionism, contains practical advice applicable to daily living. Pollan also addressed some questions that came up while reading the previous two sections, which helped the book feel cohesive. This is a useful, valuable section I often feel is missing from other books in this genre.

    Although In Defense of Food started out with a bang, I found it gradually grew less and less interesting. The political and economic ties to how our food culture has deteriorated was the most eye-opening to me, but that was in the first section of the book. The rest of the information is fantastic, but most of it wasn't terribly new to me: I've heard or read the same ideas elsewhere, and a lot of it is just common sense.

    If parts 1 and 2 interest you, read this book! If you're considering it mostly for the information contained in part 3, you might want to skip it and read Hungry by Darlene Barnes instead: same information delivered as a memoir, fun to read, with some very simple recipes scattered throughout.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Truth

    Truth is often painful but Michael Pollan gives me hope there is still time to reclaim the gift of real food! Excellent and should be read by all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Do not recommend

    Michael Pollan is a terrific writer who has written some excellent books (see Omnivore's Dilemma) and articles. Unfortunately this is not one of them.In Defense of Food is an extended essay that turns over old material, covers no new ground, repeats itself endlessly and is not worthy of the title book. To some extent Pollan may be a victim of high expectations but unless someone is completely unaware of basic nutritional guidelines his recommendation to avoid industrial food and eat locally grown and primarily a plant based diet is the sum and substance of the message. A very disappointing effort - I do not recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Foldar

    ...

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Western Diets and Western Diseases by Travel and Health.  Summar

    Western Diets and Western Diseases by Travel and Health.  Summarized from the book:
    To feed ever-growing population, food industry has come up ingenious ways of making foods more durable and portable.  The industry has transformed our foods in five fundamental ways over the last 150 years[1]:
    From whole foods to refined
    *  Refined foods extends their shelf life (precisely because they are less nutritious to the pests that compete with us for their calories) and makes them easier to digest by removing the fiber that ordinarily slows the release of their sugars.
    From complexity to simplicity
    *  At every level  from the soil to the plate, the industrialization of the food chain has involved a process of chemical and biological simplification.
    *  Today four crops (i.e., corn, soy, wheat, and rice) account for 2/3 of the calories we eat.  When you consider that humankind has historically consumed some 80,000 edible species, this represents a radical simplification of the human diet.
    From quality to quantity
    *  American agriculture's focusing on increasing yields has sacrificed the nutritional quality of our food.
    *  A diet based on quantity rather than quality has ushered a new creature onto the world stage: the human being who manages to be both overfed and undernourished.
    From leaves to seeds
    *  As a consequence, we're eating a lot more seeds and a lot fewer leaves.
    *  Sadly, leaves provide a host of critical nutrients (i.e., antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids[13], etc.) a body can't get from a diet of refined seeds.
    From food culture to food science
    *  Western diet is systematically and deliberately undermining traditional food cultures everywhere.  This may be as destructive to our health as any nutritional deficiency. 
    *  Culture is another word for mom, the figure who typically passes on the food ways that endured and tended to keep people healthy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Helpful

    Great explanation of the limitations of nutrition, and of how we should eat actual food rather than food with long nutrition labels. I bought this after listening to it on CD from the library, and also bought a copy for my brother as a gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Interesting but not as good

    Maybe i thought it would be more detail,as far as this would be great with lemon and different choices.seems to me its more about the writer.as far as the other reviews,i just dont see what they do. I did buy it because of such reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Changed my life

    Period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    What wisdom - love this book!

    Easily the clearest, most informative guide to eating. Pollan brings everything back into perspective in an engaging, enjoyable read. Eat food! What simple yet profound words in today's paradxically nutrient-crazed yet unhealthy society.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Remarkable novel with great advice!

    In Michael Pollan's book, "In Defense of Food", gives the greatest advice on how important it is to be conscious about what we put in our bodies. For example, if your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it!
    In the beginning of the book Pollan talks about how scientists are trying to turn food into science. Scientists are trying to use alternative ways to get us to eat healthy, like supplements and vitamins. This is not the correct way. Pollan states that you are better off eating an orange than taking a supplement vitamin C. Pollan also talks about how we got into this mess and the answer lies with our Western Diet. Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity are directly linked to this diet. These diseases are also linked to the production of highly processed foods and refined grains.
    Today America is producing food in quantity not quality; farmers are producing large quantities by giving their livestock hormones. We are not producing food the way we should be, which in turn increasingly has negative effects on our bodies.
    Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. This is Pollan's motto on the way we should eat. Pollan gives advice on grocery shopping, to shop the perimeter of the grocery store where the real food lies. If an item has more than five ingredients, then it is not what Pollan calls "real" food and go to farmers market.
    Pollan's "In Defense of Food" is now one of my favorite books; very informative, entertaining and easy to read. Pollan gives remarkable advice on the way we should eat and gets us thinking about the way our ancestors ate. According to Pollan forty years ago eating the way we are now would have resulted to a crackpots manifesto.

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  • Posted September 24, 2011

    Michael Pollan knows what he is talking about...

    Buy this book. Well worth the read and most importantly, apply his findings to your life.

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    Highly Enlightening

    This is a good jumping off point for someone just becoming aware of the dangers of the Western Diet, and a great motivator for those who need a friendly little reminder. Very easy read that simplifies a subject that has become increasingly complex in our society. Pollan gives great advice: everyone should enjoy their food, but for many of us it has become more of a stressor than merriment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    Almost must-read

    Too verbose and filled with anecdotes. It makes for a relaxing read, but lacks the substantitive information I was looking for. This is typical journalist writing. Not enough research, which is the true difference between substance and fluff. Pollen would do himself a service to read Niall Ferguson's acknowledgements in any of Niall's histories, to get a better example of what truly is a dedicated report. Hwoever, if you aren't looking to challenge yourself or are too tired to delve into a multitude of facts, this just may be the start to a relaxing afternoon or a good night's sleep.

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