In the discussions of the western diet, one controversial issue has been nutrition. On the one hand, Michael Pollan argues, “Stop eating a Western diet.” (625). On the other hand, others contend that the western diet has its own benefits. In my view, the western diet is unhealthy because they come together with industrial products from the food industry which is a business that focuses on making money even if it makes people sick. There is nothing more important than our health and we know that we cannot rely on those businesses such as the food and health industry which focus only on profits.
We need to stay away from the Western diet and improve our dietary habits by following Pollan’s advice.
In his article “Escape from the Western diet”, Michael Pollan criticizes that many scientific theories are not helpful because they only make us confused about what foods to eat to be healthy.
The scientists who blame our health problems on deficiencies of these micronutrients are not the same scientists who see a sugar-soaked diet leading to other diseases. Pollan believes that new theories are tools which make more money for the food and health industry. To earn more profits, the food industry needs these theories so that they can create a new product without changing their operation while the health industry needs such theories for new drugs, new treatments, and new procedures. Pollan insists that if we want to stay healthy, the only solution is that we need to stay away from the Western diet although it is very difficult to achieve these days. To make it simpler, Pollan provides us with his three eating rules that are a solution to what we need to eat to stay healthy and well-lived. (624 – 630)
Pollan’s essay title is very interesting because it raises a question in our head and makes us wonder why we need to escape from the Western diet. Needless to say, the western diet is unhealthy. It includes red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, sweet foods, and high-fat dairy products that are clearly bad for our health. Therefore, people eating a western diet have a higher risk of chronic diseases than people eating a traditional diet (Pollan, 625). Most of the food in the Western diet is products from the food industry. Besides, scientific theories conflict with each other, and they are only useful to the food industry which is a business model, and profit is their only goal. Pollan himself writes.
The food industry needs theories so it can better redesign specific processed foods; a new theory means a new line of products, allowing the industry to go on tweaking the Western diet instead of making any more radical change to its business model. (626)
As a result, if we want to stay healthy, we need to be aware of the food that we consume.
Additionally, Pollan shows us that not only the food industry get profits from these theories, but also the health industry. His point is that new theories create new drugs, new treatments, and new procedures. Pollan explains, “but the healthcare industry, being an industry, stands to profit more handsomely from new drugs and procedures to treat chronic diseases than it does from a wholesale change in the way people eat.” (626). Pollan is surely right about this because, as we may not be aware, recent studies have shown that poor diet causes nearly half of the US deaths due to heart diseases, strokes, and diabetes. As we can see, these industries’ goal is to make money because they are doing business, and even the health industry is only focused on creating new drugs to treat the diseases but not actually fix the original problem which is to improve the current diet.
Finally, the only solution to this problem is that we have to avoid eating the western diet (Pollan, 625). Although it is easy to say, it is challenging to do. Pollan reminds us that industrial food has overwhelmed most whole foods these days (626). Consequences, the food we have now is no longer the same as the food our ancestors have. However, Pollan suggests that his eating policies can guide us into the right direction.
I’m not interested in dictating anyone’s menu, but rather in developing what I think of as eating algorithms – mental programs that, if you run them when you’re shopping for food or deciding on a meal, will produce a great many different dinners, all of them ‘healthy’ in the broadest sense of that word. (628)
Furthermore, his three eating rules are a lifesaver to help us in choosing the best food to consume. Pollan suggests, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (630). The best part of his eating rules is they are very easy to remember and practice. Needless to say, Pollan’s theory of foods is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of escaping the western diet.
Before reading this article, my understanding of this topic was very limited. In my own experience, I have found that it is very difficult to follow the instructions from any nutrition form because I have to pay much attention to the number which is hard to accomplish when I have a meal. Pollan’s perspective, theory, and advice are truly helpful, especially the way he explains to us the truth behind how food and health industry work. We have to pay more attention to our health, avoid junk food and improve our dietary habits by following his solution. In the end, I believe that if we follow his eating policies, we will be more healthy than we are now.
Pollan, Michael, “Escape from the Western Diet”, They Say I Say with Reading, W. W. Norton & Company, 2018, pp. 624-631
Cite this essay
Discussion about: Escape from the Western Diet. (2019, Dec 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/discussion-about-escape-from-the-western-diet-essay