IN DEFENSE OF FOOD -San Francisco Premiere

EatDrinkFilms is presenting In Defense of Food at the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 10, 14, & 16 and as part of our Food Day / Film Day celebration at the Roxie Theatre on Saturday, October 24.

Executive Producer Kiki Kipany will introduce the film and after the screening the film’s editor Rhonda Collins will answer questions with Dean Schillinger MD, the founding director of UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations. The Center is a partner with the local group Youth Speaks in a social marketing campaign to empower minority youth to help end Type 2 Diabetes in California. The campaign is featured in the film and is transforming people’s understanding of the relationship between food and health.  The authentic voices of young poets speak to their peers through in-your-face short films. Check out The Bigger Picture.   

Tickets and information: here

Join best-selling author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: “What should I eat to be healthy?” This new documentary directed by Michael Schwarz (The Botany of Desire) cuts through confusion, busting myths and misconceptions. In Defense of Food shows how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and avoid the chronic diseases so often associated with the modern diet.

Pollan’s journey of discovery takes him from the plains of Tanzania, where one of the world’s last remaining tribes of hunter-gatherers still eats the way our ancestors did, to Loma Linda, California, where a group of Seventh Day Adventist vegetarians live longer than almost anyone else on earth, and eventually to Paris, where the French diet, rooted in culture and tradition, proves surprisingly healthy. Along the way he shows how a combination of faulty nutrition science and deceptive marketing practices have encouraged us to replace real food with scientifically engineered “food-like substances.”

Michael Pollan at a farmer’s market. Photo by Vicente Franco

Michael Pollan at a farmer’s market. Photo by Vicente Franco

Almost every day there’s a new headline about food. Eat more fiber. Drink less milk. Eggs are bad. Eggs are good. No wonder people are confused. In Defense of Food begins with an exploration of what most Americans eat today — the Western Diet — which includes lots of meat, white flour, sugar, and vegetable oils. It’s cheap, convenient, and has been processed to taste really good. But the effects of the Western diet on health are not so tasty, including alarming increases in obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Pollan concludes: “There are many aspects of our lives where we feel like we have very little power. But when it comes to food, we do have power. The rise of farmers markets, the rise of organic agriculture, the rise of the food movement — none of this was the result of government action. All of this was the result of consumers voting with their forks, signaling to farmers and the food industry they wanted something different. And this has created a multi-billion dollar alternative food economy. So we may be at a turning point.”

Steve Ritz. Photo by Edward Gray

Steve Ritz. Photo by Edward Gray

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants, is what our species has done for hundreds of thousands of years,” he adds. “So that advice is about as universal as any advice you could offer. It’s very rare in our lives where the answer to a complicated question is so simple, but when it comes to eating, it is.”

Illustration by Maira Kalman

Food Rules

Eat only foods that will eventually rot.

Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.

Avoid foods you see advertised on television.

Eat mostly plants.

Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.

If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.

Eat your colors – that is, eat as many different kinds of plants as possible.

Use smaller plates and glasses.

Serve the vegetables first.

Make water your beverage of choice.

Stop eating before you’re full.

Eat more like the French do.

Try to spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it.

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

Break the rules once in a while.

IN DEFENSE bookcoverFor more food rules check out Michael Pollan’s book Food Rules, illustrated by Maira Kalman.

Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Food Rules and his other books can be purchased at your local bookstore.   Or through our affiliate programs with Indiebound or Amazon.

See In Defense of Food at the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 10, 14, & 16 or at  its San Francisco Premiere as part of EatDrinkFilms’  Food Day/Film Day at the Roxie Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Roxie Theatre

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