In Defense of Food

By: Michael Pollan

Basic Vocabulary

There is none.

Scientific topics

  • Nutritionism
  • Culinary culture
  • Food rather than nutrients
  • Debunking food science
  • People would be better off eating food, not too much, mostly plants.


Pollan talks about the idea of "nutritionism" more so than the food that we eat ourselves along with the ideology that comes with the idea. He does address the food that we need to eat in order to promote good health but he extends far beyond and gives insight into the philosophy and science of what food has become in the United States, along with its evolution in our culture.
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Personal Opinion

My personal opinion of the book is one that I genuinely mean, this book should probably not be read by high schoolers considering the level of vocabulary and depth of philosophy regarding such a seemingly basic concept. On one hand its very informative and takes an unorthodox approach to the subject of food and nutrients and then introduces this in depth, complicated ideology of "nutritionism" which is good but makes it incredibly hard to understand and follow.

Scientific evidence relating to ESS topics

There is nothing in the book pertaining to anything we have discussed in ESS due to the book being based on food and philosophy. He does speak briefly about elements and ingredients that we might have gone over in class while discussing minerals and elements.

Notable Quotes from book

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

“Don't eat anything incapable of rotting.”

“If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat”