Friday

If you're going to the bookshop...

You know you've read an excellent book when you become a bit of a bore about it. If you're anything like me you can't shut up. Interrupting those that you live with to read out particularly interesting passages when they'd rather be watching TV, reading their own books or, perhaps, sticking their heads in ovens. I must admit that I only really do this with non-fiction, when I'm reading a great novel you can't get a peep out of me.

A really good book can turn you into an evangelical and like a true evangelical I'm going to spread the word. Michael Pollan's In Defence of Food is a must if you're interested in food, health and the relationship between the two. When I went to Waterstones to buy it I was disappointed to find it in the diet section, because if there's one thing that this book is not, it's a diet.

As you can tell from the recipes I make, I'm not someone who could be described as a health nut. I love baking and I love eating what I bake. What I don't like is the artificial pap which is marketed as food and which is pushed into the baskets of so many shoppers across the Western world. This is where my new best friend, Michael, and I converge. In Defence of Food wants people to think about what they are eating rather than handing over responsibility for a decent diet to politicians, journalists and the big corporates. As he points out, something as fundamental as feeding ourselves has become fraught with difficulty,tension and commercialisation. Rather than trusting the instincts which have been years in the evolutionary making, we now look to anyone who says they're in the know to tell us what to do. In reality this leaves us susceptible to advantage taking by anyone with a big enough budget.

The book ends with a set of guidelines that I can't help but remember every time I go shopping. Little things like not eating anything that your grandparents wouldn't recognise as food or avoiding anything that has ingredients you can't pronounce. It just makes sense.

Ok, ok rant over. Polemic aside, I can't recommend Michael's book highly enough. Not only is it refreshingly sensible it's actually very entertaining as well. Enjoy!

9 comments:

Pixie said...

I'm heading into London today and as always will likely go into many bookshops. If I don't forget, I'll browse through this one! Thanks for recommending.

Joy said...

I hope you found it - let me know what you think.

Sarah McColl said...

Oh, this is the book club book on Elastic Waist and I really want to read it!

Joy said...

Sarah - grab yourself a copy - it is just so sensible and has made me think about what I'm eating more than any Atkins/Cabbage Soup treaty ever could!

Sab said...

Have you read Michael Pollan's "Omnivores Delima"? You should, it's very good as well! Love your blog!

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