In his mission to clarify the ideology of nutritionism, Michael Pollan asserts that food is simply not just the sum of its parts, a point that is critical to gaining understanding of the effects of food on human life.
“[nutritionist ideology] has trouble discerning qualitative distinctions among foods” (Pollan 31).
Because so much of our food comes from living plants and animals, which are inherently complex – (I mean, they’re alive) – it is naturally a complicated effort to formulate a perfect reference diet for humans whose bodies are also not just the sum of their parts.
Pollan’s mention of orthorexia and its detrimental effects on mental health are only a fragment of how broadly our minds are effected by what and how we eat. I believe both a cause and effect of nutritionism and orthorexia is in some cases a gross dissatisfaction with the abundance available to those who can financially afford to develop such an ideology into practice.
Regardless of who has or hasn’t adequate resources to depend on the farmer’s market, we are all taught that if we just tweak one more external branch of our lives, we’ll eventually master a more or less perfect lifestyle suited to us. But the reality is that our minds, hearts, souls, if you will, cannot be satiated by flawlessly counting macros for all our days. I can’t pretend to have a solution to the malnourished state that a lot of us are in, but we can only be truly thankful for our food if we surrender the need to control every aspect of what our food naturally provides for us. (Malnutrition: lack of proper nutrition, caused by not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to use the food that one does eat). – dictionary.com