Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Food Rules - Michael Pollan

Food Rules: An Eater's ManualI am a huge fan of Michael Pollan's work. I have read cover to cover both The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, was inspired by them both, and to an extent they changed my life (or at least my perception of food), so it only made sense to pick up his new book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. I blazed through this book cover to cover in approximately one hour, and was horribly disappointed. This isn't to say its a bad read, it just lacks the depth, information, and journalistic tenacity that has become accustomed to in Pollan's work.

My first issue with the book is that there are 140 pages, and half of those have nothing more then a cute image no bigger then a square inch. So we can with some confidence say that 60-70 of those pages are not required reading material. A large percentage of the pages with text on them, are taken up by large fonts, and whitespace. Compound this with the knowledge that nowhere on the book can we find a "made with recycled paper," we can safely assume a gross missuse of natural resources. Ohh can I add that I paid $13.50 for a book with no fucking content in it? It just seems like massive irony that a man who is alegedly concerned with the worlds troubles would not be concerned with something pivitol to our existence like trees and breathing.

Secondly, I didnt learn a thing from this book. Granted, I've read his two other books where Pollan actually goes into some depth behind alot of the rules found in this book, I've had classes in nutrition and have a fairly basic understanding of what food is, and what food is not, but I did expect to learn something new.

What this book is, is a gateway for those who do not have an understanding about food, and are ignorant about what they eat. The book is published so you can read it in an hour and get an idea of what food is, and is not. This book was published for the ignorant masses, and frankly most of them dont read, so I dont see the point. In short, if you want a quick, cute, kitschy read you can debate with other niave idealogist during your weekly Starbucks book club meeting this is your book. If however you value intelligence and reason, pick up both The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, but steer clear of this one.


Kate said...

Hey Drew! Looking great! Seriously I love that you are blogging about your passion =) Keep it up!