Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts from "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan

Jo Hunter Adams

Rather than go through what In Defense of Food says chapter by chapter (and make it no fun for you to read in the future), I'm going to be mentioning thoughts that the book had that it might be easy for readers to remember.

Calories and feeling full
We may feel hungry way after we've already consumed enough calories for the day, because the calories we consumed did not give us all the nutrients we needed. We may not sense our own bodies needs very completely, because we may feel generalized hunger when, in fact, what we need is a particular mineral or vitamin, and we're already "caloried out".

Pollan describes this (U.S.) experiment where people were given bowls of soup, and unbeknown to them, the bowl was being filled from underneath the table as they ate. The people who had their bowls filled more tended to just keep on eating. And they ate massive amounts. This experiment revealed that many people, particularly in the English-speaking West, are out of touch with their nutritional needs. We feel full based on external, rather than internal, cues.

Other Book-related Posts
(1) Collapse: Haiti and the Dominican Republic
(2) Collapse: The Rwandan Genocide
(3) Collapse: Introduction
(4) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Huh, what's a Locavore?
(5) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: How Much Energy was used for that Carrot: Vegetarianism and Energy
(6) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Local Abundance and Variety
(7) Botany of Desire: Stories of Potatoes