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Extended Audio Sample In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto Audiobook, by Michael Pollan Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00002774671802 out of 54.00002774671802 out of 54.00002774671802 out of 54.00002774671802 out of 54.00002774671802 out of 5 4.00 (48,294 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Pollan Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781429589222
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Food: there’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because most of what we’re consuming today is not food, and how we’re consuming it—in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone—is not really eating. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances”—no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American paradox: the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.

But if real food—the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food—stands in need of defense, from whom does it need defending? From the food industry on one side and nutritional science on the other. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat, a question that for most of human history people have been able to answer without expert help. Yet the professionalization of eating has failed to make Americans healthier. Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals.

Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. By urging us to once again eat food, he challenges the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach—what he calls nutritionism—and proposes an alternative way of eating that is informed by the traditions and ecology of real, well-grown, unprocessed food. Our personal health, he argues, cannot be divorced from the health of the food chains of which we are part.

In Defense of Food shows us how, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes. We can relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites, and return eating to its proper context—out of the car and back to the table. Michael Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tough, witty, cogent rebuttal to the proposition that food can be reduced to its nutritional components without the loss of something essential…[A] lively, invaluable book.”

    Janet Maslin, New York Times

  • “Michael Pollan [is the] designated repository for the nation’s food conscience.”

    Frank Bruni, New York Times

  • “A remarkable volume…Engrossing…[Pollan] offers those prescriptions Americans so desperately crave.”

    Washington Post

  • In Defense of Food is written with Pollan’s customary bite, ringing clarity, and brilliance at connecting the dots.”

    Seattle Times

  • “This powerfully argued, thoroughly researched, and elegant manifesto cuts straight to the chase with a maxim that is deceptively simple: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants…A writer of great subtlety, Pollan doesn’t preach to the choir; in fact, rarely does he preach at all, preferring to let the facts speak for themselves.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “What follows in In Defense of Food is a series of wonderfully clear and thoughtful answers that help us omnivores navigate the nutritional minefield that’s come to typify our food culture…In a season filled with rallying cries to lose weight and be healthy, Pollan’s call to action—“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”—is a program I actually want to follow.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “After reading this book, you may never shop, cook, or eat the same way again.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “[Pollan] has placed himself at the forefront of food writing. The message of the book and its well-written delivery can’t be faulted.”

    Bookmarks Magazine

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction in 2008

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caish | 2/16/2014

    " Great follow up to The Omnivore's Dilemma that helps answer the questions that the first book brings up. For anyone who has read Omnivores, this book should be a required read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Young | 2/5/2014

    " After reading this book I find myself thinking about food and nutrition differently. Never before have I been as aware as I am now that much of what I eat (and I think I eat fairly healthily) isn't actually "food." He presents a convince case as to how nutritionalism has slipped into our thinking and repeats his mantra: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 1/9/2014

    " If you love your body and you want to lead a long healthy life free of disease and illness this book is a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ditte | 1/4/2014

    " Erg interessant boek over de manier waarop we met eten omgaan en de (te betreuren) ontwikkeling naar een wetenschappelijke benadering van voedsel. Het las niet altijd even makkelijk, maar ik had de indruk dat dat meer aan de Nederlandse vertaling lag dan aan de schrijver. Aanrader! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 12/31/2013

    " One of the most influential books I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/26/2013

    " This was the first Michael Pollan book that I read and I frequently found myself jotting down facts and quotes from the book. Now, having read The Omnivore's Dilemma, this book seems like a condensed form of the former with less focus on the political and capitalistic problems with the food industry and more of a personal health focus. One of my favorite things about Michael Pollan's writing is that he is a very thorough researcher and provides a lot of information to the readers without losing the ability to make the material understandable. This is a must-read for anyone that wants to change the way the think about food. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina Martin | 12/20/2013

    " Realistic and simple rules to follow "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen Gilbert | 12/12/2013

    " I started this several years ago and just couldn't get into it. Started it again..... what great information. So enjoying it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/10/2013

    " Ok, but still the China Study is the best book of this type. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janelle | 12/8/2013

    " Great information. Probably a lot of common sense but still loved the reminders. We made the farmer's market a weekly habit this summer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 12/2/2013

    " Excellent book on food, nutrition, and how to not kill yourself with food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy M | 11/13/2013

    " Great book. Everyone should read it. Always working to improve what my family eats...and thinking about real food versus food products is a great way to do that. Loved this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina Brister | 11/4/2013

    " An absolute must read! Fascinating and inspiring book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dallas Funk | 10/16/2013

    " Fascinating information and mostly likely a book I will reread at some point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Lundgren | 10/12/2013

    " Audiobook is easier than reading it. Loved learning about how little we really know about nutrition. Good educational read for everyone to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aharon | 10/11/2013

    " super good...really informative. loved the summary chapter at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 annavsculture | 4/19/2013

    " I didn't quite read all of this but I"m going to count it as read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cwelshhans | 3/5/2013

    " Although it's billed as a follow-up to The Omnivore's Dilemma, I really didn't find anything new here. Having loved Omnivore's Dilemma, this one was fine but felt unnecessary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 10/25/2012

    " how dreadfully I eat! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 9/5/2012

    " Great companion to The Omnivore's Dilemma, focused more on the science and study of nutrition and how we came to be so confused "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pooja Kobawala | 11/25/2011

    " "Eat only what your great grandmother recommends" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 9/11/2011

    " Short, simple, and wholesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magz | 8/9/2011

    " Interesting read with some good points made. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathaniel | 5/24/2011

    " Groundbreaking. Earth shattering. Dang I want a Twinkie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kari | 5/21/2011

    " makes you think. about a lot. helpful suggestions, enlightens you to the political side of what we eat. challenges sugar, soy, corn, etc. should be read by anyone who wants to eat well and feed others, accordingly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 5/19/2011

    " This is a concise, fascinating read about the dangers of the Western diet and how best we can navigate/simplify the complicated waters of healthy eating. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 5/15/2011

    " diets don't work, just eat less processed food - good message "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 5/6/2011

    " Read this book - it will knock your socks off and change the way you think about food. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan is the author of Food RulesIn Defense of FoodThe Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he is the recipient of the James Beard Award and is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.