Book Zombie asks: Why did you decide to read this book? Because of this review. I've never wanted to read a "food book" before, but I was intrigued and so I requested it from the library. Because I chose to read it after seeing it reviewed, it fits with the Irresistible Review Challenge.
Julie asks: Did you change your eating habits after reading this book? That's an intriguing question. I had Julie's question in mind as I read, so I think that influenced me; I WANTED to change in part because of her question (does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is that her question influenced the way I looked at the book as I read it). I WANT to change my eating habits but of course it's not as easy as it sounds. I'm definitely more aware of what I'm eating now, and I'm pretty grossed out by it honestly. My next shopping trip will be a painful one as I try to decide which foods I need to eliminate. Oh joy.
GraySkyEyes asks: Which of his arguments do you think is most compelling? Do you think you'll incorporate any of his suggestions into your normal eating routine?
Jessica has similar questions: How do you feel about the "whole foods" thing? Is it something you could actually accomplish with your eating?
A few things really stuck in my mind after I finished this book. Here are the ones I found the most compelling:
- nutrition science tells us that we can't understand on our own what is good for us and what is not (contrary to thousands of years of evidence) - Pollan likens nutritionists to a "priesthood" that translates the unknown to the masses
- the health of the soil affects the health of the plants affects the health of the animals eating the plants affects our health when we eat the plants and animals
- humans can survive and be healthy on a wide variety of diets, but NOT on the "Western diet" of processed food
- foods are more than the sum of their nutritional parts - scientists still can't determine exactly what nutrients are in each food item OR how those foods work with others to affect our health
- Americans eat in different ways than other cultures - we focus on speed whereas other cultures focus on the meal as an event - we see food as merely fuel for our bodies rather than a cultural experience
- WAY to much of our diet is based on soy and corn - the facts he presented were mind-boggling to me
- taking time to really prepare a meal makes you more attuned to the food you're eating
One thing I want to bring up ...
I do want to mention something that really freaked me out: the discussion of soy-based products, particularly soy isoflavones . Pollan explained that soy isoflavones are "compounds that resemble estrogen .... It is unclear whether these so-called phytoestrogens actually behave like estrogen in the body or only fool it into thinking they're estrogen." With so many women (including myself) diagnosed with fertility problems, this sent up huge red flags for me. How many other additives are influencing our reproductive systems in ways that we don't yet understand?!
Thanks to everyone who asked questions - it was really helpful to me in writing this review.
If you've reviewed this, I'd love to post your link here!
The Inside Cover