All posts tagged: Michael Pollan

Meat is Bad & The World is Flat: Thoughts from the Critical Nutrition Symposium

On March 8, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Critical Nutrition Symposium at UC Santa Cruz, organized by Julie Guthman, author of Weighing In. The event was spawned from a roundtable discussion at last year’s Association for the Study of Food and Society conference. The symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to critically examine what is missing from conventional nutrition science research and practice, discuss why it matters, and brainstorm how to move forward in an informed and balanced way. What follows are a few of my favorite key ideas from the day’s discussions. Adele Hite, a registered dietitian and public health advocate who is not afraid to ask big and delightfully confrontational questions regarding nutrition science, began the day by dissecting Michael Pollan’s now famous aphorism—Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Step by step, she revealed the decades of revisionist myth and shaky science on which the diet most often considered healthy (one that is plant-based) is built. For example, she argued that the recommendation to eat like our grandparents is …

Talk to Me Baby! Encouraging Dialogue between Nutrition Science and Food Studies

I’m very excited to be heading to UC Santa Cruz for Friday’s Critical Nutrition Symposium, an event that will address questions that I’ve also been pondering for a while, such as:  What’s wrong or missing in conventional nutritional practice? What are its effects in terms of human health and social justice? What other approaches might work better? What follows are some thoughts I have at this point on the current connections and future opportunities between nutrition and food studies, which I’m sure will be greatly expanded by the end of Friday’s discussions. Unlike other disciplines that inform food studies, generally heralding from the liberal arts and social sciences, nutrition science is just that – a science, thus coming from a divergent academic tradition that tends to favor statistics over narrative detail and quantitative methods over qualitative (Faltermaier 1997). In addition, nutrition and food studies contribute to one another’s fields in a more complex way because their area of focus overlaps — they both study food. Up to our current point in history, each discipline has tended …