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In defense of food.
Penguin books, 2008.
ISBN 978-1-59420-145-5

Michael Pollan, a journalism professor from Berkeley, is the author of several books on food.

How is it that the United States, a country obsessed by calories, fats, sugars, carbohydrates, etc., a country where each product in grocery stores claims to be dietetic and healthy, is also the country where there are the most cases of obesity, diabetics, and cardiac problems?
Michael Pollan proves, with scientific examples, that it’s useless (and even unhealthy) to choose light foods or foods enriched by vitamins, because only a cuisine enriched with fresh products can correspond to a healthy diet. And plus, it tastes much better!
It’s not only what we eat that’s significant, it’s also how we eat. It’s important to go back to real complete meals.




Meals, and the way we eat them, are the main subject of a study by sociologist Jean-Paul Kaufmann :

Familles à table
Ed Armand Colin, 2007
ISBN 978-2-2003-6032-1


In France, 1 out of 7 meals is not prepared at home.
In Great Britain, it’s 1 out of 3, and in the United States, 1 out of 2.

Citation of the day: a cheese burger in each hand – that’s a balanced diet !




Hervé Thys
De la Science aux fourneaux (Science of the oven)
Pour La Science, bibliothèque scientifique, sciences pures, 2007

Hervé Thys is a chemist, and for the past 20 years he has been studying the molecular processes which hold food together: cooking, emulsions, jellies, tannins, and salt-sugar or bitter-sweet associations.

Even if we don’t completely agree with him in this utilization of chemistry in the cuisine, it is interesting to understand, chemically, physically, how it works. We can know what happens after a certain temperature is reached, how the chemical components of foods start to react with each other, why when you mix a liquid egg yolk and a liquid oil, you wind up with a solid substance like mayonnaise, etc.

Pierre Gagnaire is one of the French chefs most admired by his peers. Thus, if he is associated with a chemist . . .

Pierre Gagnaire and Hervé Thys
Alchimistes aux fourneaux (Alchemists at the oven)
Flammarion, 2007


Ferran Adrian is considered by some to be the greatest chef in the world, notably by the Anglo-Saxon press; but another great chef with 3 Michelin stars, the Catalan Santi Santamaria, accuses him of nothing less than “poisoning his clients with chemically-processed products.”

We can follow this debate in an article in Le Monde (Thursday, 8 June 2008) :



This how millions of French people saw American food.