If You Like Food, You Must Read This Book

Over the last few months, there have been a number of books have been extremely influential in how the Kuos think, eat, and live. If you want to get a little deeper into the why and how of some the different things that Marcia and I post, here’s a relatively short read (just finished it yesterday on the bus!) that is well worth your time!

In Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, he makes a compelling case in just a couple hundred pages for his simple mantra for eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” There’s so much packed into that statement, but it’s so true – the Western diet has made an alarming shift away from real foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, real meat [not crazy stuff like McDonald’s burgers which can contain parts of up to 100 cows per patty!]) to heavily processed foods that put in all sorts of weird stuff you can pronounce and strip away many of the original food’s vital nutrients.  Here are two particularly challenging quotes from the book:

“The human animal is adapted to, and apparently can thrive on, an extraordinary range of different diets, but the Western diet, however you define it, does not seem to be one of them.” (Pollan, 100)

“When most of us think about food and health, we think in fairly narrow nutritionist terms–about our personal physical health and how the ingestion of this particular nutrient or rejection of that affects it. But I no longer think it’s possible to separate our bodily health from the health of the environment from which we eat or the environment in which we eat or, for that matter, from the health of our general outlook about food (and health). If my explorations of the food chain have taught me anything, it’s that it is a food chain, and all the links in it are in fact linked: the health of the soil to the health of the plants and animals we eat to the health of the food culture in which we eat them to the health of the eater, in body as well as mind.” (Pollan, 144)

For us, this book helped us connect a lot of dots about why organic food matters, the importance of eating meals together, the value of grass fed beef, and the massive interconnectedness of it all to not only the health of our family, but of this world that God has given us.

Go grab a copy at your local library or bookstore and give it a read! I’d be more than happy to chat about it with you. And for those who are so inclined, you can also check out his talk at Google back in 2008 talking about this very book:

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