I got this from Alan Nations blog. I find it very interesting.

New Michael Pollan Book
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma has a new book out next month called In Defense of Food. Michael sent me an advance copy and if you are a grassfed enthusiast you’ll really like it. In this book Pollan reveals that much of what we are eating today is really “edible foodlike substances” and not real food. Insidiously, he said many of these fake foods come with health claims that make them appear to be more nutritious than real food. He calls this unholy combination of industrial food and semi-scientific health claims “nutritionism.” The end result has been a dramatic rise in obesity and its related health problems such as adult onset diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Pollan says the best way to fight this obesity epidemic is to return to the traditional pre-World War II diet scientists rejected as “unhealthy.” Pollan exposes that the post war diets change recommendations were never scientifically tested but were based upon extrapolations of data. For example, the overall health of the American public rose dramatically during World War II and the scientists concluded this was due to the rationing of meat and dairy products. This observation birthed the “low-fat” diet movement and faux foods like margarine and white bread. What they overlooked was that sugar and refined flour were also tightly rationed. The resulting shift of swapping fast digesting carbohydrates for animal fats and low fiber flour actually made people much fatter because they became hungry again much faster than on the traditional diet. The resulting obesity epidemic was worsened by the shift from real sugar to corn syrup as the primary sweetener. Another deadly diet shift has been the heavy use of hydrogenated soybean oil in almost all bakery products to add shelf life and moistness. The addition of corn and soybean based ingredients to almost all manufactured food ingredients and the shift to grain-based confinement beef finishing, pork production and dairying dramatically shifted America to a very high omega-6 fatty acid diet. Pollan said the first step on the road back to healthy eating is to reject all manufactured food products with a health claim. He said a traditional diet based mostly on green plants, and animals that eat green plants (wild fish, grassfed meats and dairy), is the most healthy diet. “If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize what you are eating as food, don’t eat it,” he said.