Monday, March 24, 2008

Trendy Monday: Disease-Fighting Food

Because I apparently haven't geeked out enough already this morning, here's an article out of Australia on the trend towards foods that have been genetically altered to combat disease (or at least genetically examined closely enough to determine that the natural state of the food will combat disease).

On one hand - sure, why not? We take pills to make ourselves healthy, so what's the big deal about incorporating some of the benefits we get from medicine into our diet?

On the other hand, however, I can't be the only person who winced when reading "out went any sniff of came cholesterol-lowering margarine". Oh. Oh no.

Not that I didn't grow up eating margarine. Not that I don't, on occasion, have a butter substitute in the house. Not that I don't have spray "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" in the house (for corn on the cob, OK? And yes, I know how gross that is).

But I've also already internalized the mantra Michael Pollan put forth in In Defense of Food. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." As much as I believe in modern science and medicine, his anti-nutritionist stance also resonates with me.

It's both interesting and frustrating to see two such rational, yet necessarily parallel trains of thought in the food science world. Science really isn't my thing, but both seem to posess at least a reasonable amount of underlying logic. But they also appear to be mutually exclusive.

So which path do I choose?

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