Pollan’s book takes a dry and somewhat elitist look the state of the human diet and more specifically, the American diet. He investigates three meals (I’m not sure where the fourth one from the subtitle came from), fast food, organic, and a hunter/gatherer meal. What he finds is interesting and thought-provoking, much of which supports the findings I wrote about in The Evolution Diet: we are extremely removed from what we were designed to eat.
The author’s personal experiences make up the majority of this lengthy book, and his interactions with some of the characters in the food procurement industry is insightful if drawn out. The section on the hunter/gatherer meal was the most appealing (naturally), and despite the glaring flaw of ‘preparing a hunter/gatherer meal’, it was freer from contradiction than the other sections. Pollan rightly attacks the socialism that has led to a national food industry that pumps unrecognizable processed material into our stomachs, but he fails to notice that Roosevelt’s socialism is just as detrimental as Nixon’s. As Pollan quotes an interesting farmer Joel Salatin in the book, “You can’t regulate integrity”.
Pollan doesn’t commit to a diet plan for the reader–he admits that the extreme meals (fast and slow) should only be an annual ceremonial meal–but the stories that he conveys will no doubt lead the reader to a healthier lifestyle. For specifics on that healthier lifestyle, please feel free to reference The Evolution Diet, mentioned above.