Beyond the Book: Background information when reading In Defense of Food

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

In Defense of Food

An Eater's Manifesto

by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2009, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

The Slow Food Movement
The Slow Food movement began in Italy as a thoughtful protest against the arrival of American fast food in Rome in the 1980's. Seeking to promote an alternative to the Western diet and way of eating, eating slowly in the Slow Food sense means to eat with a full understanding and appreciation of every single step involved in bringing food from seed to table. This means a respect for the land and the labor, as well as for cooking and dining, that values quality over quantity and seeks to rebuild our connection to food that has been erased by modern production practices. The Slow Food movement promotes local, organic farming, local food cultures, and helps preserve heirloom varieties of produce and animals that have all but disappeared from our tables.

Called elitist by its critics because it rejects cheap methods of food production, Slow Food responds by insisting that it will ultimately prove to be cheaper as it relies less on fossil fuels for transportation and production. At the heart of it all, the Slow Food movement encourages eaters to take real pleasure in eating, to enjoy life with family and friends, and to be mindful of the people and places that provide for us.


Chances are you'll be moved to action by In Defense of Food, but you might need a little help on your revolutionary journey. A good place to start is to visit a farmer's market, a local farm, or even a restaurant that buys local meats and produce. Find one near you at LocalHarvest.org.


Here are some books to flesh out Pollan's ideas and help you bring them from market to table.

  • Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this path-breaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. A powerful treatise on the impact of agribusiness and our global food trade on the environment and our families, and an impassioned argument for a eating locally.
  • What to Eat by Marion Nestle. Cited throughout In Defense of Food, this highly informed, revolutionary and indispensable guide through the tricky world of nutrition – and your supermarket -- is a perfect pairing with Pollan's work.
  • The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters. With her insistence on locally grown, seasonal produce, responsibly raised meats, whole grains, and the slow pleasures of cooking and dining mindfully, Waters is the perfect chef for Pollan.

Article by Lucia Silva

This article was originally published in January 2008, and has been updated for the April 2009 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.