The saga of Michael Pollan, part 2! Let's continue to revolutionize our culture's approach to food, shall we? Why is it important, you ask? Who cares how long we take to eat, or where we eat it? It really shouldn't matter, should it? YES. It does matter, actually. Not everyone may think so, but "how a culture eats may have just as much of a bearing on health as what a culture eats", according to Pollan. An example of this that he gives in his book is the French paradox.
Haven't read part one of this review? Read it here!
THE FRENCH PARADOX
What Nutritionists See:
Skinny French people eating lots of fatty food and drinking lots of wine
The chemistry side of food
What Nutritionists Fail to See:
The sociology and ecology side of food
People with a completely different relationship to food than we have
People who rarely snack
People who eat most of their food at meals shared with others
People who eat small portions and don't come back for seconds
People who spend considerably more time eating than we do
The Bottom Line: The French consume fewer calories than we do, yet manage to enjoy them much more than we do.
It's crazy how much culture influences health and the choices we make! We don't even think about it. America has the "nutritionism" mindset: the belief that food is first and foremost about nutrition, and is so complex that only experts and industry can possibly supply it. This is WRONG. Nutritionism views food as a commodity, as fuel, or as a collection of chemical nutrients. But food is so much more than that! It's a web of relationships. Relationships between the plants and soil, the grower and the plants/animals they tend to, the cook and the growers that supply the ingredients, the cook and the people who will eat the meal. According to Pollan, "It is a large community to nourish and be nourished by." Food is much, much more than the sum of its parts, or "chemicals".
If that's the case, how do we apply that to everyday life? How do we eat? There is an answer! It's not just a simple, fix-all answer, however. It requires thought, consideration, and work. It requires questions and mindfulness. If you're seeking true change, read this book. Read it and find out what Michael means behind the following guidelines of how to eat. I've left them vague on purpose. Each one is important, and interesting, and worth diving into. Make an effort for the sake of your health.
How To Eat
- Pay more, eat less.
- Eat meals.
- Do all of your eating at a table.
- Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.
- Try not to eat alone.
- Consult your gut.
- Eat slowly.
- Cook, and if you can, plant a garden.
Thank you so much, Michael Pollan, for bringing to light the answer to the question of what and how to eat!
Not too much.