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Analytical Analysis Of The Chapter Bad Science

665 words - 3 pages

In the chapter “Bad Science” of his book In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan explains and analyzes why nutrition science is constantly mistaken about dietary fat and health. He writes that due to the way science is structured to isolate variables and study the individual components, nutrient study is unable to realize the intricate interactions within food. Pollan underscores this by investigating the inaccuracies that plague food-frequency questionnaires due to their focus on single nutrients, such as fat or proteins. Overall, I believe Pollan clearly defines why nutrient science is regularly incorrect about diet and health. However, he misses key citations for interviews with prominent nutritionists, thus resulting in lack of credibility.
“I don’t believe anything I read in nutritional epidemiology anymore. I’m so skeptical at this point” (78). The quote comes from Pollan's interview with the famed epidemiologist Gladys Block, and is used several ways: First, as an authority to the reader; second, as a method to conclude and summarize his chapter concerning nutritional methodology; and finally as an approach to capture the reader’s attention onwards to the next chapter. However, Pollan leaves out an essential detail — citation. From the critical reader’s perspective, Pollan may have fabricated his dialogue to present a prominent authority. The importance Pollan places on the interview makes citation imperative. However, we understand Pollan’s work in the light of it’s background, as a book read by general audiences to gain a greater understanding. Therefore, Pollan misses points for lack of citation, nonetheless it is a detail that can be overlooked.
Through the chapter, Pollan lists the names of two nutritionists and an epidemiologist. Marion Nestle, Cornell Nutritionist T. Collin Campbell, and Gladys Block. Some could argue even without citation Nestle and Campbell serve as ample authority. However, a quick search of Nestle’s research confirms that she supports the same ideals and food doctrines that Pollan aligns himself with (Marion Nestle). Therefore, Marion has relatively lower influence than Pollan places...

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