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In Defense of Food

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

 This documentary is an extension of the authored by Michael Pollan.  It explores the confusion of what foods to eat, what is healthy, and analyzes the American diet and food lifestyle.  With diabetes epidemic on the continuous rise, Americans are seeking easier ways to combat health risks and win the food battle but are faced with food imposters that are thrown in their faces with the false promises of health benefits.  This documentary sets a standard on how to effectively win the battle and learn the lifestyle.

The documentary makes key points on how to tell when a product is risky.  One is when something claims to be healthy it probably isn’t.  Health foods do not have to defend that they are healthy.  For example, tomatoes and broccoli do not scream in the produce section that they contain essential vitamins and nutrients.  Pollan addresses that the rising concern with nutrients has replaced common sense with confusion which results with unhealthier eating.

Years of unprofessional nutrient and diet advice has left Americans seeking out diets that are unhealthy and unfulfilling which leave them with the same illnesses and diseases regardless.  The “fat-free” and “sugar- free” movements have misled consumers to believe that certain nutrients are “unhealthy” when in reality they are still essential but most commonly abused.  Some fats are crucial to a healthy diet like unsaturated and monounsaturated fats that can be found in olive oil.  The fog comes from all of the misleading advertisements and articles scaring consumers from one thing and emphasizing others.  We should not be scared of eating but links to the common unhealthy Western diet with serious chronic diseases has scarred the average American to buying into health systems and fads that are ineffective and still detrimental.


Pollan answers the ages old question on how to eat in seven painfully simple but liberating words: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.


He argues that rather than focusing on a nutrient by nutrient approach to food, which he calls Nutritionism, the consumer should take health and diet into their own hands and focus on naturally produced products (personal gardens preferred) that are real, unprocessed and locally grown.  Health is in the power of the consumer not the companies mass producing products.  It IS possible to escape the overwhelming and daunting aisles of the supermarket and Western diet and therefore escape the chronic diseases and illnesses linked to it.  In adapting our stomachs to a moderate appetite and relearning healthy living we can bring pleasure back to eating.


This documentary gave me a new outlook on food and my own diet and what changes I have made and why I made them.  I realized that I fell into a lot of the trends without doing my own research and the health risks that resulted. After watching this, I understood that it really isn’t that deep.  Food does not have to be broken down to nutrients but should be looked at for what it is.  Common sense was lost in the flashy colors and flavors included in packaging but can be found again in the plain, rawness of the produce section or our own backyard.


In Defense of Food can be found on Netflix but a link is included below:


3 thoughts on “In Defense of Food

  1. boyera

    Thank you for sharing! I think I will have to watch this documentary. There is a lot of information out there on food and diet. I do agree that we should eat what Earth gives us and try to keep it as local as our own backyard if possible. This year I have my first box garden!

  2. robertsonlm

    Really love this post! I watched this documentary called Forks over Knives and it also discusses some of the key points and issues mentioned in In Defense of Food. I have been wanting to change my diet for a while and I have been starting to cut out meat and add more fruits and vegetables in my diet! I am also trying to stay away from processed foods! Also, if Americans focus on adding more plants to their diets and less meat, everyone would be helping the environment in a positive way! I’ll definitely have to check this documentary out! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  3. sandersjc

    This documentary sounds really interesting! I definitely support local agriculture and think that a move towards this on a wide scale is going to be necessary in the near future.

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