Praise for Book: "In Defense of Food"
Friday, November 6, 2009 at 10:00AM
Mike Dillman in Book reviews, blog, book, defence, diet, food, health, michael pollan, nutrition, raw, review, vegan


"Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants."

Not very often do you find a truly insightful book on food, health and nutrition.  Even less often does such a book achieve mainstream success.

When it comes to nutrition books, I'm generally very skeptical; and for good reason.  Book publishing is, of course, a business, and a competitive one at that.  Printing and distributing books is expensive, so every time a publisher puts a book into the marketplace, they take a risk.  They have to invest a bunch of money in printing an inventory, yet they have no idea if anyone is going to buy it.  This dilemma can lead publishers to play it safely.  Instead of putting out what's innovative and new, they often stay with the tried-and-true and release what people are already comfortable and familiar with.  In the process, many good ideas are snuffed out and wasted.

When I heard about Michael Pollan's 'In Defense of Food' reaching #1 on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestesellers List for six weeks, my expectations were modest.  At worst, I expected the next big "Atkins-esque" fad.  At best, I thought it would be yet more rehash and fluff with nothing substantial to say at all – just the usual half-hearted pointers for an audience unwilling to make any meaningful lifestyle changes. 

I had no intention of reading the book until the day I saw Pollan interviewed on television.  He sounded like a man with his head screwed on straight, so I decided to give his book a try, and I was hooked right from the opening line.  "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."  A brilliantly concise line.  Somehow these seven words sum up this incredible book better than any long-winded review ever could.

The following is a quote from Nora Ephron of the New York Times:

I have tried on countless occassions to convey to my friends how incredible this book is.  I have gone on endlessly about Pollan's brilliance in finding a way to write about food – but it's not really about food, it's about everything... Well, the point is, I have tried and failed to explain it, so I just end up giving them a copy, and sooner or later they call to say, "You were right, it's fantastic."


Pollan's work walks a perfect balance; being penetrating, informative, amusing and enlightening.  His assertment that we no longer eat food, but instead gorge ourselves on processed "food products" is a message that the masses are in dire need of hearing.  This isn't a diet book in the traditional sense.  The purpose isn't so much about telling you what to eat as it's about serving as a wake up call – a call to arms against of the dangers of today's Western diet.  If I hadn't already taken an interest in natural health many years ago, this book would be the kick I needed to start now. 

If you need something to inspire you to change and take your raw diet seriously, read this book.  It's not about the raw-vegan diet, but it complements it so incredibly well.  Afterwards, when there is no doubt in your mind that change is needed, go back to my book and read it again too.  You'll find it all makes more sense to you than anything else ever has.


Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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