Here’s an interesting 10 minute video with Michael Pollan defending real food:
I agree with everything he is saying.
Except for when he says that you shouldn’t eat a lot of butter. Sally Fallon says butter is a health food. She said she eats half a stick of butter on her oatmeal every day — 4 full tablespoons. She actually said that she thinks vegetables are just a vehicle for good fats. I love that!
One thing Pollan says in this video is that we should look to history and tradition when making choices about food and nutrition.
Hence, the traditional foods movement — eat real foods that have not been contaminated, adulterated or processed: butter, raw milk, raw milk cheese, grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, naturally leavened breads, fermented foods, soaked and sprouted grains and nuts.
Traditonally, people have been eating butter. For centuries. LOTS of butter. Read any French cookbook from a hundred years ago and the amount of butter and heavy cream will blow your mind. Heck, just read Julia Child’s recipes!
So why does he say we should not eat very much of it? Why does he say it is not a health food? What is his evidence for that claim?
I also disagree with Pollan’s wacky assertion that we should, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
WTF?! Plants? Mostly plants?
Many radically healthy traditional populations lived on animal foods as the bulk of their diet. Traditional Swiss villagers lived almost exclusively on dairy — raw milk, butter, cream, and cheese — with naturally leavened bread and small amounts of meat and vegetables. Other cultures lived mainly on the meat from animals (the native American Indians and many African tribes) and still others lived mainly on fish (Polynesian tribes, Eskimos, Scottish fishermen). All of these people lived on a diet high in saturated animal fats — over 50%. The Eskimos ate about 80% saturated fats.
I can’t think of a single healthy traditional culture that lived on mostly plants. Can you? I challenge you to name one.
I wish Pollan would do his research on traditional diets and the health benefits of saturated animal fats. I agree with Sally Fallon — Pollan is in a position of power and he really should study more about nutrition so he can speak intelligently about it.