Thursday, February 1, 2007

soul of a carrot

I really like this article in the nyt magazine by Michael Pollan. And while I do tend to eat more vegetables and less meat, sort of by definition, than most people I am susceptible to what he calls nutritionsim. Drinking my Blueberry B Monster Odwalla beverage and taking my multi-vitamin supplements -- He would say this isn't as good as eating food, say a carrot.

The article is quite funny and surprising in pointing out what we don't know about nutrition and what we do know about food.

When William Prout isolated the big three macronutrients, scientists figured they now understood food and what the body needs from it; when the vitamins were isolated a few decades later, scientists thought, O.K., now we really understand food and what the body needs to be healthy; today it’s the polyphenols and carotenoids that seem all-important. But who knows what the hell else is going on deep in the soul of a carrot?

The good news is that, to the carrot eater, it doesn’t matter. That’s the great thing about eating food as compared with nutrients: you don’t need to fathom a carrot’s complexity to reap its benefits.

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