May 11, 2009

The best foods to eat

Filed under: Publications — grahamophone @ 3:46 pm
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This rambling entry is about finding the best foods to eat without forcing yourself to eat Brussels sprouts or foregoing meat and sugar (though I will explain how to wean yourself off Coke). I’m not going to tell you about five superfoods or the 10 herbs that fight cancer.

Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan

I am going to tell you what to read — “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” — and what the books mean to me. Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan created something of a personal cottage industry largely by railing against industrial food. And Pollan is winning. I would guess Pollan’s book sales are growing faster in the current economy than Pepsi’s soda sales. At least I hope so.

I just published this column about Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and why his book was three years ahead of its time. The book remains on bestseller lists because he unwittingly foresaw the exploding homegrown food movement that is growing out of economic woes as well as health and energy concerns. If you want a more thorough explanation, read the column. Instead, I want to talk about his marginally less popular but possibly more important “In Defense of Food.” It solves his omnivore’s dilemma for all of us, including those who have no interest in planting, foraging or hunting their own food. Again, he doesn’t tell you the best foods to eat. Rather, he gives simple rules for finding your own broad harvest of the best foods to eat. I’ll explain with three quotes, the first from my wife:



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