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In Defense of Food

Directed by Michael Schwarz, this documentary is based on the book of the same name by Michael Pollan. In it, he argues against nutritionism, a term he popularized. Nutritionism seeks to understand the basic components of food as healthful rather than understanding food more holistically. The film crafts a pretty convincing argument regarding our relationship to food, how we have grown away from the origins of our food, and how we continually seek a miracle nutrient or drug that will fix our ills. He includes testimony from scientific experts in nutrition and weaves into the film a brief history of nutritionism in the United States and how it has led to poorer health. While he does not necessarily advocate a meat and dairy-free diet, Pollan does admonish us to “eat food, not too much, and mostly plants”. Thumbs up for an excellent documentary, particularly as it tells the history of food and food processing in the United States. It is a great introduction to the topic.

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