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wisewords
Children’s
A Conversation with
HEALTH
Michael Pollan
Activist, Author and Journalist
by Ellen Mahoney
A
cclaimed
the one hand, you
author and
have the food industry
journalist
that is trying to replace
Michael Pollan argues
real food, which isn’t
that Americans eat too
very profitable to sell,
many “edible food-
with processed food,
like substances” and
which is much more
not enough real food.
profitable to sell.
Pollan is the bestsell-
Over time, the new
ing author of The
products getting to the
Omnivore’s Dilemma,
supermarket tend to
and his latest book,
be more of the edible
In Defense of Food, sheds light on how
foodlike substances.
everyone can make more thoughtful,
The other thing food needs to be
healthy food choices. His best ad-
defended against is this whole way of
Start the school
vice? “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly
looking at it as a pile of nutrients, so
year with a strong
plants.”
that food disappears. When we walk
down the aisle of the supermarket, we
immune system.
don’t see the names of traditional foods,
Q. How do you define the term “food”
we see omega-3, calcium and vitamin
versus “edible foodlike substance”?
D. It’s all this biochemistry that’s getting
in the way of perceiving actual real
Find great tips
Foods are basically the plants, animals
foods.
to help your child
and fungi we have been eating for a
long time and are more the product of
stay healthy nature than industry. Edible foodlike
Q. Realistically, how should people eat
for maximum health?
all year long in the
substances are relatively recent and
novel and are characterized by higher
August edition of
levels of processing and synthetic
First, tune out all the nutritional advice
ingredients. In general, one way to look
that’s out there—all the health claims,
Natural Awakenings. at it is that edible foodlike substances
all the latest studies telling you whether
contain ingredients you don’t have in
it’s carbs or protein or fat that you have
your pantry, such as high fructose corn
to worry about, and focus on the foods
For more information syrup, xanthan gum and carrageenan.
themselves. Take back control of your
about advertising and how
diet.
you can participate, call
I think cooking is one of the keys,
Q. Why do we need to defend our
because a big part of our problem is
203.988.1808
food?
that the culture of cooking has col-
lapsed. We’re outsourcing our food
Well, because food is under attack. On
preparation to corporations, and they
18 New Haven/Middlesex Counties
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