Planting a Seed of Truth

      2 Comments on Planting a Seed of Truth

You’d Think It’s Butter!

Consciously or unconsciously, science, like a religion, requires a leap of faith to be allowed to guide our life. In the case of food culture, the public has been blinded by food science; what we really need is the nutrients in the food, not necessarily the real food, which is our current epidemic ideology, called nutritionism. In In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan presents a simple 7-words solution, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” opposed to nutritionism. A problemic shift from food to nutrients introduced what Pollan calls, “foodlike substances” in the middle isles of grocery stores with their “screaming” packaging that they contain good nutrients. According to Pollan, the “quieter” the food is, the healthier it is; for example, fruits and vegetables in the produce section do not require any packaging to tell us about their nutrients (Pollan). This is food that our ancestors have been consuming and successfully sustaining themselves without diet- related chronic diseases that are found in the modern world today.

Then, exactly where did all this reductionist way of thinking come from? According to the first lesson presentation, journalism, capitalism, science, culture, medicine, and politics have assisted in constructing the nutritionism (Lesson 1.2). Incomparably longer shelf lives of the foodlike substances are great for the food business to make more money but not for the public health. The news about what to eat and what to avoid confuses the public, while science and medicine hardly take responsibilities for correcting their past errors; instead, they are busy stacking up new ones on top which confuse people even more (Pollan). Just as the reductionistic science planted nutritionism in public, I am hopeful in the future that we will be able to distinguish food from foodlike substances. Although, once again, the components of nutrtionism (journalism, capitalism, science, culture, medicine, and politics) must cooperate and communicate with the public, experts must lead a path to the truth. The most important question arising would be this: “where can we start?” And I believe that this blog is the start.


Works Cited

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Detroit: Thorndike, 2008. Print.

Vegetable Oil Spread. Digital image. SkipThePie. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 July 2017.

2 thoughts on “Planting a Seed of Truth

  1. Zachary Allinger

    I agree totally with your interpretation of the lessons so far. We are faced with a difficult problem to overcome, how can we reverse the trend towards consuming processed foods back towards our more natural roots. I think part of the reason we eat so much processed food is because the United States is such a large country with such a spread out population. In order to meet the food demand for the entire population industrialization has prospered. One of the solutions is sourcing food more locally which is a positive, albeit expensive and slow, trend. The problem with this is that small farms are more costly and consume resources less efficiently than large farms. Hopefully as we go towards the future we can find better ways to support locally sourced food and rely less on mass-produced and transported food from across the US.

  2. bl02

    I love your post because it tackles the issue that “nutritionism” has become the main priority of many peoples’ diets when it comes to eating healthy. Rather than taking into account the actual substance we’re consuming, the culture seems to have shifted towards commericialized nutrition where we count calories and vitamin amounts as the scale of nutrition and healthiness. Ultimately, I’ve seen this dangerous thinking in some friends of mine, going as far as consuming daily vitamin capsules as replacements for actual healthy food. Perhaps this is more of a specific issue inside the umbrella topic of nutrition. However, I think its still relevant in your post about eating real food vs foodlike substances for the sake of nutrients. Great post surrounding nutrition in our culture.

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