Summary of “Escape from the Western Diet” by Michael Pollan

In an excerpt “Western Diet” from Michael Pollan’s, reminds us of the many different nutritional theories behind the large number of diseases that afflict those who eat the “Western Diet” However, Pollan disagrees with these theories and states that both the food and health industries are partially to blame for this. Pollan claims the food industry is to blame because they use these different nutritional theories to release new products, and that the health industry is to blame because they use these theories to develop new prescriptions and treatment methods.

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Denis Burkitt suggests that the only way to avoid this vicious cycle is to “go backwards to the diet and lifestyle of our ancestors” (439), which Pollan interprets as “eat foods that are less processed”. While this sounds easy enough, Pollan points out that this is not as straightforward as it sounds and that even factors like soil condition and livestock feed make this concept a daunting task.

Escape From The Western DietPollan’s answer to this paradox is to simply eat smarter and he goes as far to suggest that we ourselves are part of the problem because we do not spend enough money or time in terms of preparation on food. Finally, during his conclusion Pollan gives us three rules that he claims will help us to “Escape the Western Diet”(437,) which include “Eat Food, not too much, and mostly plants” which is pretty simple when you think about it.