Yeah, Pollan is a very interesting author. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” really opened a lot of people’s eyes in terms of our food system.
He has been criticized (sometimes fairly) for being a bit elitist and academic, but he is forcing people to examine the consequences of their food choices, which is a good thing no matter how he presents it.
I’m still a bit miffed about the main message, which is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Not because of the “eat food” part, because I agree that processed foods don’t belong in a healthy diet, but because of the “mostly plants” bit. My question is why? And what do you mean “mostly”? He claims to be a proponent of pasture-based meats, but I feel like he doesn’t do enough to encourage people to go out of their way to get good meats (although to his credit he does suggest people invest in a big freezer and buy meat in bulk direct from farms).
And I think he’s a bit harsh on nutritionism. Sure, our idea of food has descended into a sort of schizophrenic stupor since we are bombarded with nutrient-based health claims from the media, the food industry, and government organizations, but some nutritional science has worked wonders (such as studies of insulin and inflammation). The problem is that there is a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on marketing to people’s diet fears, and a lot of pressure for the government to tell people what to eat.
It’s a good read either way, and I especially love it because he also mentions the fallacies of the lipid hypothesis, which is good to see in a relatively mainstream book.