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In Defense of Food

Posted 2/9/2008 11:13pm by Art Ozias.

I just finished Michael Pollan’s latest book, In Defense of Food.  It is an excellent book.  Allan Nation, the editor of Grass Farmer magazine had a good summary in the Feb issue.  I am going to include some of his summary.  I hope this will compel you to get the book and read it.  For those who have access to the Trails Regional library, you can check it out there.  I gave them a copy. 

 Allan Nation in Grass Farmer: “Another big change with major health implications was the wide spread substitution of corn sweeteners for traditional sugar.Sucrose sugar, the kind produced from sugar cane or beets, provides a slow-release form of energy and also provides valuable micro nutrients we can get nowhere else.Corn syrup is not a sucrose sugar but is a fructose sugar.  This makes a big difference in obesity.The body does not react to fructose by producing insulin to carry it into the cells for use as energy.Rather fructose is routed to the liver, which then turns it into glucose and then, if there is no immediate demand for it, into fat." "Corn syrup is now added to almost every manufactured food as a subtle sweetener to increase consumption.  Is it any wonder we are getting fat?” The other main point he makes is Omega-3 is the Definer. “Omega-3 fatty acids are critical in brain development and function, good vision, and the metabolism of glucose.  Omega-6 fatty acids are involved in fat storage, in making cell walls ridged, in blood clotting and the inflammation response. " "Today, the modern Western diet is heavily weighted toward omega-6 fatty acids by a factor of 20 to one.  The shift of beef, eggs, and dairy production from a natural high omega-3 pasture diet to a confinement one based upon omega-3 deficient hay and high in omega-6 grains is a major cause of the imbalance, but not the only one.For years plant breeders have been breeding plants to reduce their omega-3 content to extend their shelf life.The chronic diseases that now kill us can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food according to Pollan." 

"Pollan also advises when shopping for food to distinguish between food and food products.  If the label has more than five ingredients or if it has an ingredient that you can’t pronounce, leave it on the shelf.     The best way to eat healthy is to “Shake the hand that feeds you”.  He says consumers should invest in a freezer so they can buy grass-fed meats, and do a little gardening of their own as well.  Particularly, of green leaf plants. "

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