Friday, June 10, 2011

In Defense of Food (briefly): Audio Book Week Review

Get it at
This relatively recent "eater's manifesto" from Michael Pollan (author of The Botany of Desire & The Omnivore's Dilemma) focuses on a clear, simple, commonsensical directive for improving our health via our diet:

Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

That's his thesis, and it makes perfect sense to me.  In fact, I've done so much reading about health and nutrition and diet that little of the content here strikes me as new.

If, however, you're not all that familiar with the often contradictory prescriptions offered by food researchers and nutritionists as the 20th century evolved or if you'd like an update on the perils and drawbacks of nutrition research or if you want to explore the effects of eating primarily processed and "fortified" food-products, then I suggest you give this book a try.  You may find it imperfectly argued, but Pollan's style is as elegantly energetic and persuasive as ever, yet quite instantly accessible and even conversational in tone, so it'll make for a pleasant and thought-provoking listening experience, I'd suspect.

Athough the performer of this audio book, Scott Brick, does a competent job, I suppose, I'd much rather hear Pollan himself, as his voice is pleasant and his tone conveys both intelligence and a non-combativeness toward readers who might not share his views. 

If, like me, you don't need any convincing to do your best to eat a primarily vegetarian diet and to cook foods from their natural states as much as possible and to attempt moderation in all things, then perhaps you should try one of his other excellent books (linked in the first sentence) or head over to Pollan's website to read some of his NYTimes columns, so often focused on the themes evoked during In Defense of Food.


My Action:  I will rededicate myself to Pollan's three rules.  They mesh well with my current South Beach Diet eating plan that I've been using for more than a month, so I'll let this audiobook re-focus me to adjust for the natural slippage that occurs when what you know you should eat slams into all the goodies tempting you in the grocery aisles and restaurants of your daily travels.

And don't forget to visit Devourer of Books for the grand finale of Audio Book Week (memes, reviews, giveaways): The recommendations there are stellar, so if you audio-read or tandem-read, it's a great way to find your next best book.


Jen - devourer of books said...

I do like to revisit Pollan whenever my diet gets particularly bad, he helps me refocus.

JoAnn said...

Great review. I loved this book and The Omnivore's Dilemma... have added Botany of Desire to my wishlist.

Sidne,the BCR said...

i must come back and read this review. rushng today, tomorrow is book fair and i got a four hour drive and it already 2:55am. starts at 10am. posted my weekend poetry, didnt see linky so please let everyone know to stop by and check it out. got my poetry book in mail Thursday too!!

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