“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.”
This was a quick, accessible read that validated some things I’d read elsewhere, and taught me a lot besides – big thanks to Kellee Bryan for suggesting I prioritize it. It’s divided between a thoughtful critique of why food is marketed the way it is and why that’s pretty bad for our health, and sensible guidelines for eating like a human. It’s neither extremist in its commentary nor faddish in its suggestions – I recommend it highly, but only if you’re ready to really reckon with yourself when you grocery shop. My husband hasn’t read it, but I’ve talked a lot about it at home, and we now have an ongoing dialogue along the lines of, “Is beef jerky ‘food’?” “No.”
My favorite parts:
Who would have thought Wonder Bread would ever become an ideal of aesthetic and gustatory perfection to which bakers would actually aspire – Sara Lee’s Mona Lisa?
“Eating is an agricultural act.” – Wendell Berry
“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.” – Wendell Berry
(I think both of the above quotes come from Wendell Berry’s essay ‘The Pleasures of Eating’, which Pollan recommends.)
What I did with my copy: After pinning Pollan’s great follow-on reading suggestions, I gave it to my best friend, and told her to pass in on when she’s done.