This is the advice is given by Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, the story of how The Western Diet replaced real food with fake food and condemned all of us to disease and general poor health. This might have been subtitled the book the Food Industry Doesn’t Want You To Read. As the villain in the story is processed foods of all kinds, from flour to Twinkies-they are all killing us. The farther we move from the lifestyle of the Hunters/Gathers that we were for twenty thousand years or so, the worse off we are.
Specifically, for the past thirty years or so, our Government has lied to us about food-which should not be surprising since they lie to us about everything else. They have taken the idea of food and turned it into the idea of nutrients, so that the author of In Defense of Food uses the term Nutrientism to describe the zealots in favor of this cause. Mainly the people who make hundreds of billions of dollars a year selling nutrients and not foods. This would be items like fake cheese, fake bread, and fake everything else you find on supermarket shelves. It was once marked as Imitation, but the Food Giants repealed that law and now the fake foods have all but replaced any real food you might find in a grocery store today.
This is scary stuff and I believe every word of it. But In Defense of Food is not all bad news-you can change your evil ways and start to eat better-and thereby reverse the evils of the Western Diet-in as little as a matter of weeks. Clearly the people selling fake food and the people selling pills to cure the ills of eating fake food, don’t want you to do this. They want you to keep eating fake food and keep popping pills for the rest of your life. But you don’t have to.
But as with all such ideologies, it is easy to say, but not so easy to do. Michael Pollan’s’ advice is simple enough-Eat Food, not too much, mostly plants. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients listed on the package, better yet, don’t anything packaged. Eat grass finished beef, if you have to eat beef. Eat organic, if it’s local and you can trust the people telling you it’s organic. Eat a lot more leafy vegetables. As with all healthful diets/lifestyles it is easier to follow his advice if you happen to be rich. Real foods cost a lot more than the fake foods that fill the supermarket shelves.
This is a thought provoking book which makes you stop and wonder what the hell did I just eat?