Unfortunately, I experience Michael Pollan as a scold. The popular food writer and activist has vital insights into our contemporary relationship with the stuff we eat. His prescription -- Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. -- rings true to me. But I don't like being lectured about what I eat and I catch an undertone from Pollan of wishing women were available to return to the labor-intensive food prep practices that our horrid commercial industrial pseudo-foods have rendered obsolete.
Thus conflicted about this author, I figured I had better read one of his books. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto was sitting around, so that's where I started. Nothing in it changed what I've just said.
But Pollan is good at what he is good at and his brutal take-down of commercial science's replacement of food with "nutrients" is worth reading.
According to Pollan, once industrial food producers and sellers succeeded in drafting science in support of their wares, most of our subsequent dietary monstrosities followed.
I'll accept that. But where I part company with Pollan is that I can't believe that a move away from pseudo-foods processed for profit can be achieved by lecturing people and shaming them into trying to emulate a leisured elite. We get to a better society by taking back science from the capitalists and using it to the benefit of all.
It's a good thing that food is ever cheaper and less labor intensive to prepare. Those are humane values for a sustainable society, not a sign of moral turpitude. We are letting food be corrupted by profiteers, but we're not wrong to want abundance and ease.