Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best Books of 2008: In Defense of Food

It's that time of year again, and your friendly neighborhood librarians are eager to tell you about the best books of 2008. Here is Leslie with a review of her favorite book of the year.

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

So begins one of the best books of 2008: In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan. Pollan writes about how we have lost the nutritional wisdom of our mothers and grandmothers and rely on scientific "nutritionism" with constantly changing advice and contradictions passed along by food marketers, nutritionists and journalists. None of this advice has made us healthier. The author points out that we are the only animal that needs advice about what it should eat. The book is divided into thirds: The Age of Nutritionism; The Western Diet and Diseases of Civilization; and Getting Over Nutritionism. Read this book and head to your local farmer's market.

While In Defense of Food is about personal health, the author's previous work, The Omnivore's Dilemma, (one of my favorite books of 2006) dealt with the ecological and ethical dimensions of our food choices.

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