What I like most about Pollan’s writing is that he works off the assumption that people generally want to know more about food. We might not want to be gourmet chefs anytime soon, but as a reader of his books, obviously I’m interested in learning more about what we as a society put into our bodies, and what place food and cooking serves in our lives.
This was a really quick read – less than an hour. I bought Food Rules at the same time as I bought The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, figuring that it would be different enough to be a separate read.
Honestly? Food Rules is mainly the same information that is available from In Defense of Food.
I waited a couple weeks to read this book after finishing The Omnivore’s Dilemma, because I figured that it would cover much of the same material. For different reasons, I wasn’t quite right and I wasn’t quite wrong.
Pollan seems to have taken The Omnivore’s Dilemma as a starting point, and then gone on to a slightly different tangent with In Defense of Food. This book moved on from talking about various food chains towards a general discussion of “food” as we know it (or don’t). Significantly shorter than the first book, In Defense of Food is an interesting analysis of what is wrong with how Americans – or anyone else eating a “Western diet” – are eating and what it is doing to our health.
Pollan has really done a good job of showing the average person what our food system has become, and what some of the alternatives are. His writing is very accessible and often humorous as well. It’s not your typical beach reading, but it worked for me, and I sped through it without even realizing how quickly it went by!
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