PBS Documentary: In Defense of Food
In Defense of Food, the PBS documentary based on the book by the same name, takes viewers on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Cutting through confusion and busting myths and misconceptions, the film 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.
Michael 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.” And he explains why the solution to our dietary woes is in fact remarkably simple: Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.
Watch the Trailer
You can help promote healthier eating in your community by screening In Defense of Food in your home or for a community group. You can choose between showing the full two-hour version of the film or a condensed 78-minute version. Or if you’d prefer a shorter event, you can show a selection from the PBS.org library of short clips from the film that run from 3 to 6 minutes each and cover specific topics.
If you’re inspired to discuss food and health with your friends, neighbors or colleagues, host a house party featuring some of Michael Pollan’s favorite recipes. Sign up here to get a free house party toolkit and discussion guide. They’ll tell you everything you need to know to host a successful screening.
Start by downloading the producers’ free community screening toolkit and discussion guide. The toolkit provides step-by-step instructions for planning an event. The questions in the guide cover both the 78-minute and two-hour versions of the film.
Middle School Curriculum
This curriculum from Teachers College, Columbia University uses activities and film clips to give young people aged 10 to 14 new tools to think critically about food. Students prepare delicious recipes, create performance poetry and participate in peer-to-peer learning to investigate the question, “What should I eat to be healthy?” As they progress through the 10 lessons, they will discover what Michael Pollan means by his now-famous answer: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. Download the curriculum overview, or find out how to get the full curriculum here.