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FOOD NEWS: Michael Pollan: In Defense Of Food

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Michael Pollan’s new book, In Defense of Food, provides the backdrop for his talk at the Bagdad Theater in Portland, Oregon, and this prior interview with Deborah Kane of the environmental nonprofit organization, Ecotrust. Remarkably, Mr. Pollan is talking about a defense of food in a literal sense: it’s increasingly difficult to escape from eating foods that are food-like substances (processed foods), but are not whole (real) foods. We have come to look upon “nutritionism” as a valid means of determining (healthy) value in our diet; food has been reduced to its composition of good and bad nutrients, but are we really eating healthier? In part one, we see how simple changes in food labeling requirements can influence consumer behavior, and how food manufacturer’s apply overwhelming pressure to effect laws that ultimately protect their own interests.

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Duration : 0:9:56

25 thoughts on “FOOD NEWS: Michael Pollan: In Defense Of Food

  1. SuperRegisteredUser says:

    @AdamsSeed What a …
    @AdamsSeed What a nice way of saying you’re a fat fuck. I’ll remember that the next time I speak to fat people, or “locomotively impaired” people.

  2. Jitpring says:

    @AdamsSeed Did you …
    @AdamsSeed Did you ever find the source you were seeking? And has your health improved?

  3. manvsbook says:

    <– Just posted a …
    <– Just posted a video review of In Defense of Food on my page.

  4. linguinegirl says:

    @drmiggins Don’t be …
    @drmiggins Don’t be a butter hater, hon – butter is churned cream; it’s usually pasteurized, but otherwise unprocessed, with no more than two ingredients, namely pasteurized cream (plus salt, if it’s “salted”). These days you can even find homemade butter in some grocery stores.

  5. drmiggins says:

    butter is real food …
    butter is real food? is it not the mass processed secretion from a cows udder?

  6. ArthurDentopolis says:

    As to my having or …
    As to my having or not having a scientific background you are mistaken. I do not yet hold a degree in any scientific field, but I am currently enrolled in a university and am seeking a degree in biology. I took Chemistry 1, AP Chemistry, Biology 1, IB Biology, Physics 101, and Anatomy and Physiology 101 in high school for what it’s worth. May I ask just what your credentials relating to science are?

  7. ArthurDentopolis says:

    Quantum physics …
    Quantum physics does not deal with “atoms and molecules too small to be seen with an electron microscope” it studies the component particles of atoms and in turn the component particles of those component particles. Electron microscopes can see some large molecules which includes some, but not all, hydrocarbons so on that note I was somewhat mistaken. The other tools you mention such as chromatographs or mass spectrometers are far more useful for analyzing chemicals than microscopes though.

  8. MindofaJedi says:

    @ArthurDentopolis …
    @ArthurDentopolis Where did you get the idea that chemists don’t use microscopes ? Have you ever been to a refining plant ? They employ hundreds of chemists , and along with chromatographs and other tools , they have dozens of microscopes . The study of atoms and molecules too small to be seen with an electron microscope , is called quatum physics . Electron microscopes can however can “see” molecules like hydrocarbons . I take it you have no scientific backround whatsoever .

  9. MindofaJedi says:

    @ArthurDentopolis , …
    @ArthurDentopolis , Incorrect, fat , glucose and starch are not chemicals under any definition of the word . Chemical implies manmade , a substance created through chemistry . RBGH is a chemical , aspartame is a chemical (originally used as ant poison ) . Red #5 is a chemical . Organic usually refers to no sythetic pesticides or chemical ripening agents or in meat , that the animals are not injected with hormones . Apples , carrots , beef – these are also NOT chemicals .

  10. ArthurDentopolis says:

    Also there is an …
    Also there is an entire branch of science, biology, devoted to explaining the alledgedly “far too complex” “LIFE / N ATURE”.

  11. ArthurDentopolis says:

    Actually there are …
    Actually there are a lot more tools used by science to study nature. A microscope would not even enter into analyzing something in chemistry as the subjects of study (atoms and molecules) are far to small for even an electron microscope. You seem to have things a bit backwards with regards to what I have said, and quite frankly I have to wonder how much of what I said was actually read by you. If you want to debate then this needs to be moved somewhere with a longer allowed post.

  12. greatbydesign33 says:

    OMG – did you just …
    OMG – did you just say “vegetable oil” is better than butter? I hope people are too intelligent to listen to your stupidity. The Omega 6 ratio in vegetable oil alone is enough reason not to touch it. Not to mention the hydrogenation. … Tell you what ArthurDentopolis – why don’t you go eat all the margarine and crap you want, and let the rest of us eat healthy.

  13. greatbydesign33 says:

    As usual. YOU ARE …
    As usual. YOU ARE WRONG. And did you say “side effects reduced”? Medicine from nature gives you no ill side effects.

  14. greatbydesign33 says:

    @ ArthurDentopolis. …
    @ ArthurDentopolis. You try to sound intelligent but you are steeped in ignorance. If your paradigm is based on what a scientist can see under a microscope, and your knowledge stops at chemical compounds and compositions, dry statistics and empirical data -SADLY, you have already failed at understanding what food is. And you are too small minded to see that LIFE / NATURE is far too complex to be relegated under a microscope. And you think you have the answers. You have a lot of growing up to do.

  15. greatbydesign33 says:


  16. greatbydesign33 says:

    @MindofaJedi TRUE. …
    @MindofaJedi TRUE. very TRUE.

  17. greatbydesign33 says:

    get the RAW ORGANIC …
    get the RAW ORGANIC kind.

  18. ArthurDentopolis says:

    A large portion of …
    A large portion of the pharmaceutical industry’s products show how a useful compound found in nature can be refined so that a person does not have to consume large amounts of the plant it comes from which may have adverse affects in and of itself (try eating large quantities of willow bark the next time you have a headache). Of course there are other problems with big pharma.

  19. ArthurDentopolis says:

    It has been …
    It has been replicated laboratories all over the world, and not only has it not been debased or destroyed with regard to human medicinal use it has been improved. By changing it to acetylsalicylic acid instead the medical benefits are maintained and the side effects are reduced.

  20. ArthurDentopolis says:

    These need to be …
    These need to be monitored and test rigourously before being allowed use in foods. To often this has not been done, and sometimes they should not be allowed in foods even if they are deemed safe. As to, “Man can debase and destroy it, but man can not replicate it.”, if you are talking about chemical compounds found in nature this is plainly wrong. For example, salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, is found naturally in willow bark.

  21. ArthurDentopolis says:

    I concluded this as …
    I concluded this as butter is full of saturated fat and also contains more fat per serving. Despite that neither one should be consumed in excess and plain vegetable oil is probably bettter than both. Finally, I am not advocating making food in testubes. I have yet to see or hear of a loaf of bread being made in a test tube and do not think anyone is working on this. What they do make in labs are food additives and preservatives.

  22. ArthurDentopolis says:

    Instead it contains …
    Instead it contains primarily polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats with the low naturally occuring levels of trans fats. Next, if you are going to say that margarine causes all of those things I would like to see the peer reviewed articles which reflect such. That is however somewhat irrelevant as what I was arguing for was not that margarine is healthy in and of itself, but rather that when compared to consuming the same amount of butter a person would be better off with margarine.

  23. ArthurDentopolis says:

    Ad hominem much? …
    Ad hominem much? First, I did not say that hydrogenation was healthy. You are right that hydrogenation is done to further the profits of the food companies rather than health, but I did not disagree with that in my previous posts. I said that the hydrogenation that all margarine used to undergo added saturated and trans fat which I clearly stated as being a negative with regard to a person’s health. Today there is margarine availible that is not hydrogenated.

  24. greatbydesign33 says:

    @ArthurDentopolis – …
    @ArthurDentopolis – You are a complete IDIOT who knows NOTHING about health or nutrition. NOTHING. You should keep your bad advice to yourself.

  25. greatbydesign33 says:

    @ArthurDentopolis – …
    @ArthurDentopolis – You really are a dummy aren’t you? Margarine gets a bad rap? Are you JOKING? The real reason why food companies use hydrogenated oils has everything to do with profits and nothing to do with your health. Margarine causes cancer, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and much more. Margarine alters the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout your body, causing cell-by-cell disintegration of your health.

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