In Defense of Food

  • by Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma. Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible food-like substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food." In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy.

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Audible Editor Reviews

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These are the first words of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Scott Brick narrates these opening sentences with slowly paced emphasis and a nicely modulated deftness, with a hint of coyness. The coyness is Pollan's. For what else can one eat but food? And why does eating need a manifesto? Pollan answers that we increasing do not eat food (whole food) but rather consume processed "food products". We are in "The Age of Nutritionism". Pollan's In Defense of Food is a richly developed polemic against the unhealthful food culture that the ideology of nurtitionism represents. The book is as well a de facto manual for growing and eating our way out of it.
Brick is a compelling spokesman for Pollan's argument. He brings to In Defense of Food a voice in the baritone-to-tenor range, with an always on-the-mark sonic focus matched with a point of expressive emphasis that constantly shifts, as Brick makes his flawless and fluent runs up and down and within his octave ranges. Brick's doing all of this can only be achieved by natural talent, disciplined training, and smart reading — joined by a mastery of a quite large array of narrative and expressive skills.
It is very likely that somewhere in some academic haven there are specific concepts and a precise language that could quantify and describe what goes on with Brick's narrative voice. In the end, though, it all comes down to art. Using, with apologies, an extended metaphor, that of jazz: Brick picks up his axe (saxophone), fingering the notes and changing the octaves with the keys; with his fine set of chops (lips) applies the pressure onto the sax's mouth piece and reed, and, modulating the breath and applying nuances of feeling and expression, blows -- that is, in jazz-speak -- plays. The well-argued and passionate polemic that is In Defense of Food is, in this audio production, a show piece showcasing Scott Brick's narrative range and dexterity. —David Chasey

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What the Critics Say

"[Narrator] Scott Brick brings the necessary energy, pacing, and articulation to what promises to be one of this year's most popular and provocative titles.... Brick carries this manifesto against nutrition science and food manufacturers with the voice of indictment - unflinching, unflagging, and fired by conviction." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life and Death

After years of surging insulin resistance and the accompanying host of metabolic disorder symptoms (high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar) I now follow the simple rules in this book. I still eat meat but a tiny fraction of what I ate for my first 50 years. I eat mostly plants, not too much. I avoid packaged, processed food. I've lost 100 pounds, LDL went from 285 to 83 and my insulin resistance has vanished. This book has saved my life, seriously.
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- James

If your looking for a Diet book read this first!

Many nutrition books aspire to show you insight on your body chemistry and its link to the food you eat. Fortunately this is not a book on nutrition, this is a book on "nutritionism". Most of this book explores the food industry and how the media, government, and nutritionists have corrupted what humans have been doing correctly for thousands of years, namely eating real FOOD. While Michael Pollan does show some points on what processed food is doing to our body, he mainly focuses on the misinformation we generally receive about food. He concludes with some diet advice a little more detailed than just "eat food&". The best part about his advice is it makes sense, common sense. It will make you say "I already knew that" but at the same time say "so why have I not been doing it?". This is the first book I have read(heard) by Michael Pollan but I plan on reading(hearing) more. The only downside you may find is the reading by Scott Brick. I have heard many books read by him and I am used to his style and actually enjoy it, but I can see some people finding it distracting. This is an EASY 5 stars, no reason not to buy it. (and no I'm not getting paid to say that lol)
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- Brandon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-07-2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio