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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants These simple words get to the heart of Michael Pollan’s In Defence of Food. Humans used to know how to eat well, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through the generations have become confused, complicated and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists and journalists, all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not ‘real’ These ‘edible food-like substances’ are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false and misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by ‘nutrients’, and plain old eating has been replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. It seems that we have forgotten about the sheer pleasure that can come from eating simple, healthy and, most importantly, real food. Michael Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is currently an extraordinary American bestseller, which for hundreds of thousands of people has shown just how badly wrong the food industry has gone. In Defence of Food is his practical call to action – a bracing and eloquent manifesto that will enrich our lives and our palates, and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy and happy.
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