Monday, February 09, 2009

So the Follow-Up

I finished up Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food yesterday, and I've gotta admit: I liked it.

(You can read my thoughts on the first half HERE if you haven't already.)

The second half consists of some general guidelines of "how to eat" in such a way as to not fall prey to the consumerism/nutritionism/unhealthiness of the west. And they're simple but good guidelines, one of the more interesting and thought-provoking ones being: Don't buy products with more than five ingredients in them.

And granted, Pollan allows a space for meat consumption amongst his "guidelines for eating." But, he DOES mention that our views on meat consumption are deserving of more thought because of other concerns (environmental, ethical, etc.)--albeit, he DOES only mention these things in a footnote.

And although I clearly don't agree with him on the idea of meat having a legitimate place in the western diet (my contention being a strictly ethical/moral one), I will say this: within the confines of his argument, the ethical impacts of meat consumption aren't really relevant. His argument focuses on health, and how we perceive food regarding health. And ethics really isn't a part of this focus.

Do I agree that meat has a place in the western diet? No.

But although I thought his views on meat consumption perhaps didn't reach their logical conclusion in Omnivore's Dilemma, I will say that, given his thesis in In Defense of Food, this time he's at least not being inconsistent with himself in arguing that it does.

So yeah: regardless of your stance on veg*nism/meat-consumption, I really do think this is a good book, one that will challenge the way you look at food and offer you some (booo hissss pun really not intended but I can't think of a better phrasing) food for thought, omnivores and veg*ns alike.

So grab it if you see it, and prepare to be a little bit horrified.

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