Sunday, January 28, 2007

Somebody write this one down

I'm actually going to agree with something published in the New York Times.


It's true. I admit it.

Of course, it won't be anything political. There's not even the remotest possibility that the NYT and I will ever agree on that subject. But it is about food, and it's making a lot of sense. It's by Michael Pollan. Here's a quote:

The first thing to understand about nutritionism — I first encountered the term in the work of an Australian sociologist of science named Gyorgy Scrinis — is that it is not quite the same as nutrition. As the “ism” suggests, it is not a scientific subject but an ideology. Ideologies are ways of organizing large swaths of life and experience under a set of shared but unexamined assumptions. This quality makes an ideology particularly hard to see, at least while it’s exerting its hold on your culture. A reigning ideology is a little like the weather, all pervasive and virtually inescapable. Still, we can try.

In the case of nutritionism, the widely shared but unexamined assumption is that the key to understanding food is indeed the nutrient. From this basic premise flow several others. Since nutrients, as compared with foods, are invisible and therefore slightly mysterious, it falls to the scientists (and to the journalists through whom the scientists speak) to explain the hidden reality of foods to us. To enter a world in which you dine on unseen nutrients, you need lots of expert help.

You simply must go read all of this.

UPDATE: See what I mean??

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