‘Books and Stuff to Read’

Eater’s guidelines…attempts at making sense of it all

As promised, though a bit late, here are some general guidelines for buying and consuming food as suggested by Michael Pollan in the ending chapters of In Defense of Food. He covers a lot of ideas while giving some advice and I will summarize here some of the ones I think are key. I really recommend reading the book for some great stories, examples, and… Read More

Health claims galore! Get ‘em while they’re hot!


“Helps lower cholestorol.” “Natural source of antioxidants.” “Low fat.” “Made with all natural ingredients.” You’ve probably seen them all. All these are health claims you might come across in any typical grocery store. The natural instinct for the consumer is to trust these types of statements. They are often backed by a government agency, after all. But what does it mean to be a “qualified”… Read More

The ever elusive…balanced diet?

the Christmas spread romanlily

One main point that Michael Pollan brings up is the general shift from complexity to simplicity. He means that nutritional quality is eventually sacrificed because the complex interactions and combinations of nutrients are being simplified by industrializing and processing food. Biological and ecological interactions that culminate in the plant and animal products that we consume are very complex and difficult to imitate. But this seems… Read More

Nutritionists at work, one nutrient at a time

A good quote from page 62 of In Defense of Food: “The problem with nutrient-by-nutrient nutrition science,” points out Marion Nestle, a New York University nutritionist, “is that it takes the nutrient out of the context of the food, the food out of the context of the diet, and the diet out of the context of the lifestyle.” Whole foods are so complex chemically and… Read More



I just started reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma about a year and a half ago and found it very perspective-changing so I am looking forward to what this book will have to say. The first few chapters have focused on discussion of the ideology behind “nutritionism.” Pollan points out that this is not a scientific term, though there… Read More

Climate Change: Picturing the Science

Climate Change: Picturing the Science

I attended a book launch today for Climate Change: Picturing the Science, hosted by the Columbia Climate Center of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The book is focused on how to take the science and communicate it through words and pictures. Leading climate scientists contributed to the writing of the chapters while the photographs were chosen based on what would explain and support the… Read More