New Earth Archive Reflection Paper

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The book I read from the New Earth Archive was In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. The book analyzed the foods we eat and talks about the traditional American diet. It says that this western diet is more harmful than beneficial despite the breakthrough in nutirionism. The reader soon learns that this growing obsession with nutritionism is ironically hurting our diet more than it is helping it. This obsession has led us to scientifically alter food to boost the level of vitamins and nutrients in our food; to make it “healthier.” The problem with nutritionism is that we look at it from a micro perspective rather than looking at the food as a whole. For example, if we just look at Omega 3 and boost the amount of Omega 3 a food contains, we don’t consider how it will react with other nutrients and how a combination and balance of nutrients affect the overall impact the food has on our body. For this reason, Pollan highly advises taking nutrition admonitions with a grain of salt. He also advises that we steer away from process foods that make nutritional claims that talk about including extra nutrients. Pollan refers to such foods as “edible food-like substances.” He talks about comparing different undeveloped groups’ eating habits to those of the westerner. The undeveloped groups who rely on hunting and foraging their food are plagued by fewer diseases than the westerner. The only reason the westerner outlives the members of these groups is because of the advancements in medicine we have made. The book also talks about how nutritionism has caused an outbreak in “false marketing.” I put false marketing in quotations, because it isn’t exactly false, but it only tells a partial truth. For example, I’m sure most people have heard that dark chocolates contain antioxidants which are supposed to be healthy. Now let us look at the whole truth. First off, what is an antioxidant and what does it do? Most people would not be able to answer this question. Also, all food...
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