Megnut Sums Up Unhappy Meals

Last week Michael Pollan dropped the hammer on Nutritionism, and provided lots of reasons why Americans aren’t exactly making the wisest dietary decisions. Now, I tried my best to crystallize the main point, but, let’s face it—that was long an article! Loaded with tons of quality information, heck, even I think I left a lot out. Good thing Megnut did a great summing it all up. Here’s a bit of it:
1. Eat food. Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Non-dairy creamer? You're out. You too, breakfast-cereal bars.

2. Avoid even those food products that come bearing health claims.
Science keeps changing, so trying to follow fads won't guarantee health. You have a better chance at health by just eating a well-balanced diet.

3. Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup. All those signs point to food that's been processed. More process = less nutrients and vitamins, never mind the environmental costs of producing the food.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kyle Key - February 5, 2007 6:37 PM

That's terrible advice. For the majority of Americans, "healthy" food IS "unfamiliar." Most people would look at that and use it to convince themselves that they're already eating a great diet.

Leanne - February 5, 2007 11:27 PM

I'd have to say the 1,2,3 listed above is great advice. With one clarification: some of the whole foods we eat today my great-great-grandmother certainly wouldn't recognise.

Quinoa? Nup. Cashew nuts? No way. Zucchini? Not a chance. Mangoes? No. Bananas? I doubt she would have seen them either, living as she did in England a hundred years ago.

So although the advice above is good, use a bit of common-sense. What it is saying is, avoid the processed rubbish and stick to *real* food.

Monty - February 7, 2007 11:14 AM

As far as not eating foods that were not used by my great-grandparents, that would leave very little useful food. Coming from places like Brno, Rogovina and Sverdlovsk, the biggest problem was food shortage, especially during the winter. The choice of vegetables was little more than bulbes, postinok and petrishkeh (potatoes, parsnip and parsley root), and possibly cabbage. They were introduced to our variety of fruits and vegetables by the pushcarts in New York. Then I learned about the greater variety available in the grocery stores on Avenue J, and more recently exotics such as bok choy and calabaza in supermarkets, ethnic groceries and farm stands. Modern times have made an improvement in the supply of available foods if you look for them among all the junk.

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