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In Defense of Food, Part 3

February 17, 2010

Well, since I finished the book like 3 weeks ago, I figured I should write my synopsis of Part 3.

In case you missed them:

Part 1

Part 2

  • Part III is entitled “Getting Over Nutritionism”.

Rules for eating:

  1. Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting!
  2. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
  3. Avoid food products with ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
  4. Avoid foods with more than 5 ingredients.
  5. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket
  6. The surest way to escape the Western Diet is to depart the realms it rules, such as the supermarket!  GO TO THE FARMER’S MARKET!  Shake the hand that feeds you!

What to eat:

  1. Eat mostly plants.  Vegetarians and flexitarians alike are both equally healthy.  If you didn’t know, plant based foods are less energy dense than many of the “western” foods, thus you will consume fewer calories with the same amount of food.  Also, the author has not found any health related reasons to exclude meat from one’s diet.  However, there are many environmental and ethical reasons that you can consider.  Thomas Jefferson recommended using meat as a condiment for veggies as opposed to the main dish.
  2. You are what you eat eats, too!  Look for pastured meat and wild fish for more nutrients!
  3. Eat like an omnivore!  Diversity in your diet makes it more likely that you will eat a wider variety of vitamins and nutrients.
  4. Eat well-grown food from healthy soils.  However, just because it says “organic” doesn’t make it healthy.  “Organic oreos are not a health food.”   When the organic food movement first started, I was very skeptical for that exact reason.  Back when I used to watch J&K+8, I remember Kate FREAKING out when someone gave the kids lollipops, but they weren’t organic.  Ummm . . . okay, because that means that they’re healthy!?!  I prefer to focus on organic “whole” foods.
  5. Don’t look for the magic bullet in a traditional diet.  Many people have studied diets like the Mediterranean or French and are looking for a specific item that makes the diet healthy.  It is most likely the combination of foods, not one certain thing.  This is the same thinking that has started the “nutritionism” movement, where we look at one certain vitamin or mineral and focus on its health benefits.  Say it with me BALANCE!
  6. Have a glass of wine with dinner.  Unfortunately, the pattern of drinking may be more important than the wine itself.  Drinking a little every day is better than a lot on the weekends only.  Ooops!

Not Too Much: How to Eat:

  1. Pay more, eat less.  Pay more for quality and enjoy the food (like the French do).  Take longer to eat quality food, and you’ll eat less. Many Americans do not use internal clues to realize that they are full.  Instead, they use visual cues like the fact that the plate is empty.
  2. Eat meals.  Did you know that 20% of all food eaten by Americans is IN THE CAR!!  Sit down at a table.  Don’t watch TV.  Enjoy the company of friends and family.  Try out skype to eat with others if you live alone.  No your desk at work is not a table!
  3. Don’t get your fuel from the same place as your car.  “Gas stations have become processed-corn stations: ethanol outside for your car and high-fructose corn syrup for you inside!”  It’s magic!
  4. Cook, and if you can plant a garden.  If you take longer to make your food, you’ll appreciate it and enjoy it more.  If you take even more time to grow your own (organic) food, you’re also more likely to appreciate it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I’m trying to find Food, Inc. on DVD, but it’s got a lot of holds on it at the library.  I’d recommend it to ANYONE!

In other news:

First day of vegetarian . . . fruits and veggies for the day: banana at breakfast, carrot and celery at snacks, peppers, onions, and mushrooms at lunch, sweet potatoes at dinner.  Not too bad.  Time for pudding dessert.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 9:35 AM

    I have heard such great things about this book…I really need to get a copy! 🙂 Have a great Thursday!!

    • February 18, 2010 9:56 AM

      READ IT!! I’m sure you know many of the basic principles, but there’s lots of interesting tidbits in it. Have good one!


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