Michael Pollan Nutritionism

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Science vs Nature Recently, the diagnosis of health problems in America such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes have been on the rise. Likely caused by over caloric diets, many scientists have used nutritionism, the theory that specific nutrients determine a food’s nutritional value, to create methods to decrease the occurrence of such diseases. In Michael Pollan’s essay “Escape from the Western Diet,” Pollan makes the claim that in order to improve America’s diminishing diet people must look past nutritionism and food science because of the negative impact it has on the environment. He suggests that people must eat more whole foods, unprocessed and grown naturally, in order to solve this food crisis. Michael Pollan’s idealistic approach …show more content…

He claims that “nutrition satisfies our curiosity about how things work. Food industry and medical industry use nutritional theories so it can have a scientific rationale to make processed food” (422). Nutritionism is not a market trap like Pollan suggests. Its origin is deeply rooted in science and takes a quantitative approach to improving nutritional health. Accordingly, research has shown that a scientific approach to improving nutritional health benefits the human body by providing it with essential minerals and simple sugars. In Gyorgy Scrinis’ essay “On the Ideology of Nutritionism,” Scrinis summarizes the basic principles of Nutritionism and deconstructs its core theories focused on calorie reduction and media influence. Nutritionism is “characterized by the attempt to understand foods and diets in terms of their nutrient and biochemical composition” (40). Using chemistry, it takes known molecules that have been proven essential to biological health and implements it into a person’s diet. Unlike Pollan’s marketing allegation, nutritionism is in its best interest to present consumers with important information to make educated decisions about their diet and health. Correspondingly, by identifying and regulating specific molecules in a person’s diet, nutritionism is able to prevent the over consumption of certain carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. Pollan’s wholesome approach to dieting “fetishizes super foods” and “vilifies” processed food for its underlying chemical composition (41). Rather than approaching dieting by providing the human body the necessary substances at the molecular level, Pollan’s approach encourages consumers to eat what is thought to be natural: not what is proven to be healthy. Therefore, the most efficient diet to improve America’s health is one with its basis in food science such as

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