Pollan uses his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto to explain how the different foods that people eat and even their food habits influences the health of the community. As such, Pollan has made use of several other sources justify his argument that a culture’s eating mannerisms and what they eat says a lot about their health. The author goes ahead to explore various cultures and their practices when it comes to eating and the nature of foods they prefer. Using Criqui’s and Breuda’s book “Does diet and Alcohol Explain the French Paradox” the author is able to assert his claims about the French’s people’s peculiar way of eating.
Secondly, Pollan looks at the eating culture of the Americans. The author achieves this aim by making use of Cutler’s journal “Why Have Americans Become More Obese?” To enhance an understanding of the Americans’ eating habits. According to Cutler (102), the Americans ate more food than the French did. This was the situation both in supermarkets and in restaurants since the size of food served was more than the food sizes served in France. Additionally, the Americans dedicated less time to eating their food than was the case among the French people. Pollan discovered that the French spent took more time to eat their tiny servings than the time the Americans dedicated to eating their Brobdingnagians despite the fact that they ate more food and were free to get more helpings. Cutler’s source is crucial, as it has made it possible for Pollan to draw a comparison between the eating habits of the Americans and the French. As such, it becomes clearer on what kinds of food habits lead to poor health and cases of obesity.
With the aid of Criqui’s and Cutler’s sources, Pollan is able to give a generalization of the things people need to adopt to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For instance, he encourages people to eat less despite paying more as this has yielded satisfactory results in France. Unlike the Americans who focus on quantity, the French are particular about taking small portions of good quality food and this has kept them healthy and slimmer. In his research, Pollan has included the percentage of income people spend on health, and this has strengthened his argument. According to his findings, the expenditure of Americans on health has risen from 5.2% in 1960 up to 16% currently (Pollan 187). Furthermore, the percentage of income that is spent on food has declined from 17.5% in 1960 to 9.9 % currently. In this regard, there is a need for people to learn about the right eating habits so that they can avoid spending so much of their resources on medication. These statistics show that Americans need to change their poor food habits in order for them to have significant health (Pollan 188).
Pollan has addressed the issue of calories and the foods that are likely to contain such calories. With the aid of Jacob and Lyn’s book, Nutrients, Foods and Dietary Patterns as Exposures in Research: A Framework for Food Synergy the author is able to identify foods like snacks, soft drinks and microwavable entrees (Jacob & Lyn 5090). Even though, Pollan does not address how much calorie is contained in each category of food, he estimates that they contain more than 300 calories. Pollan did not give specific figures as this would lead the Americans to keep away from these foods completely. Additionally, he may not have been able to give accurate figures on the calorie levels in various foods thus it was necessary for him to make generalizations. The idea of the research is to ensure that people and the Americans in particular manage their intake of calories and not to keep off these foods completely.
Pollan has addressed several other issues like the importance of not eating alone and the importance of eating slowly. Using Jacob and Lyn’s book, Pollan brings out the perspective that when one eats slowly they tend to enjoy the food and also eating in a conducive environment in the company of others enables people to eat in a relaxed manner, and this has a positive impact on human beings. In addition to this, he addressed the issue of not eating too many snacks. These issues are informative and form an integral part of the healthy food habits that people should maintain. Pollan’s approach on the issue of eating habits and mannerisms is brilliant as he further encourages people to give the process of preparing food a personal touch. Consequently, Pollan brings out the idea of cooking food and planting various foods given that these foods are healthier than the ones obtained from fast foods. However, Pollan failed to include in his research those foods that need to be taken in plenty. In as much as Pollan places a lot of emphasis on taking foods in small quantities for health purposes, he has failed to indicate that certain foods need to be taken in plenty. For instance, foods like vegetables and fruits need to be taken in plenty as they enable an individual to become a lot healthier. Besides encouraging Americans to take food in small proportions, he should encourage them to take plenty of fruits, water and vegetables in order to better their health.
Pollan has made use of a diverse variety of sources in his research in order to strongly support his findings and views concerning the impact of eating habits on an individual’s health. Actually, Pollan has made use of sources that depict that French eating habits as well as the one that shows the American food habits. The use of these sources create a better understanding and attempts to explain why the French are healthier than the Americans. As such, it encourages the Americans to try and adopt some of the habits practiced by the French as this will enable them improve on their health. Furthermore, making use of the source from Jacob and Lyn adds weight to his research as it gives people and especially the Americans an idea of the kinds of food they should avoid or alternatively consume in exceedingly small portions due to their high calorie content.
Criqui, M. H., and Breuda L. Ringel. “Does Diet or Alcohol Explain the French Paradox?” The Lancer, 2008. Print.
Cutler, David M. “Why Have Americans Become More Obese?” Journal of Economic Perspective 17.3 (2003): 93-118. Print.
Jacobs, David R., and Lyn M. Steffen. “Nutrients, Foods and Dietary Patterns as Exposures in Research: A Framework for Food Synergy.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 78.3 (2003): 5085-5220. Print.
Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, London: Routledge Publishers, 2009. Print.