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Michael Pollan: It's Not So Much What We Eat, As How We Eat It

Michael Pollan discusses our unhealthy obsession with singling out foods for their individual properties instead of taking a more holistic approach.

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In focusing on the individual components of food products, we have forgotten to take a look at the bigger picture. The French Paradox, for example, is really no paradox at all, it’s simply a culture with a food tradition. Mealtimes are honored and you’ll never find a Frenchman snacking on a low-fat, sugar-free granola bar between meals.

Which is why it’s inspiring to see local movements focused just as much on serving up organic, fresh meals as they are about building community; putting effort into the tradition and relationships that happen around the food. The annual Big Lunch in England is an example of just that, a grassroots project is aimed at getting the whole of the UK sitting down and having lunch with their neighbor.

If we’re going to talk about the food movement, we have to think about the bigger picture. We’re in the midst of a health crisis, with chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease skyrocketing. Opting for the green tea-infused ginger ale instead of Coca Cola isn’t helping. It’s time to start thinking about our relationship to food and stop being concerned with individual food properties.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. With other people. In a way that respects and honors the food in front of you.

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