Eat processed food

In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan, argues that the food industry and nutritional science has made Westerners less healthy. His website says, “Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals.” Yet people in Western nations live longer* than anywhere else in the world. Or is he saying that we are sicker now than when more of us lived and worked on farms. How is it that we are sicker, but live longer?


5 Replies to “Eat processed food”

  1. I have this exact question when I hear people make claims about how our exposure to chemicals in the environment are making us sicker. It seems everyone ignores the fact that we are living longer. I suppose the argument would be that we would live even longer than we are now.

    But I wonder, how much longer do people want to live?

  2. The key to long life is more complicated than just what you eat. It also has to do with access to antibiotics, advanced trauma facilities, refrigeration and pasteurization. Living in war-free communities helps, too.

  3. According to the World Health Organization, the most important factor in longevity is hygiene, not nutrition.

  4. Even more important than hygiene is Luck. How many perfectly healthy people die in car accidents? or are unlucky enough to develop cancer?

  5. Based on this information from Time Magazine by way of accidents are right behind cancer and stroke.

    In the December 4, 2006 edition, Time Magazine lists the causes of death annually in the U.S. (I’ve rearranged the list a little.)

    1. Heart Disease: 685,089
    2. Other Diseases (not in this list): 681,150
    3. Cancer: 556,902
    4. Stroke: 157,689
    5. Accidents: 109,277

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