Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pollan tells us What to Eat

In In Defense of Food, when Michael Pollan tells us what to eat, he writes "mostly plants." Luckily, he defines it;
  • Eat Mostly Plants, especially leaves- This one hurts meat and potato Americans, like me. His book explains why, but simply put- this is where the nutrients are. According to Pollan, we must eat plants, but don't need meat (with the exception of Vitamin B12)- but there is no health reason to dismiss it, just lower it. He calls himself a flexitarian- mostly plants, with a little meat (162 ).
  • You are what you eat eats too "The diet of the animals we eat has a bearing on the nutritional quality, and healthfulness, of the food itself, whether it is meat or milk or eggs." Too many of our animals are fed nasty stuff that ends up in us. This costs more money, but not much, if we eat less meat (167).
  • If you have space, buy a freezer- When you find good pastured meat, buy lots and freeze. Also freezing does not significantly hurt the nutrients of produce (168).
  • Eat Like an Omnivore- try new species of plants and animals. Biodiversity is good for our bodies and it is very good for the land and what it produces (169).
  • Eat Well-grown food from healthy soils- this is pretty obvious. It does not always mean "eat organic" but it does much of the time. There is lots of processed organic food out there (look in my pantry- sadly) and there are many small farmers that produce good food that are not "organic" for a number of reasons (169).
  • Eat Wild foods when you can- wilder foods that have not been terribly influenced by people tend to help our bodies. Of course, be careful, because we don't want to hurt endangered species of plants or animals (171).
  • Be the kind of person who takes supplements- people that take supplements tend to be healthier, not because of the supplements (except a multi-vitamin), but because they pay attention to their bodies and are more health conscious (172).
  • Eat more like the French, or the Italians, or the Japanese, or the Indians, or the Greeks- people that eat traditional diets are usually healthier. This is very complex and I will let you read what Pollan says for yourself (173).
  • Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism- Soy is such an example. Unless prepared in the traditional Asian method, it has many shortfalls. Novelties usually don't improve health and taste (176).
  • Don't Look for a Magic Bullet in the traditional Diet- Food and diet are much more than the sum of their parts (177).
  • Have a glass of wine with dinner- Be careful. But, in moderation, wine is proven to be very healthy (181).
next up, How to Eat.

1 comment:

joshua said...

thanks for doing this, rick. quite helpful.