Film | Wide Angle

Michael Pollan's bestselling book 'In Defense of Food' to be adapted into documentary film

by Kaori Shoji

Special To The Japan Times

Now that the World Health Organization has decreed that processed meats are potentially hazardous, and a chain of hotels in Sweden has actually banned bacon, sausages and palm oil products from its breakfast menus, food is increasingly becoming a hot topic, both in real life and in the movies.

On that note, Michael Pollan’s 2008 bestselling book “In Defense of Food” has now been adapted into a documentary directed by Michael Schwarz. It premiered at California’s Mill Valley Film Festival in October, and will hit television screens in the United States on Dec. 30, just in time to lay on the guilt about bad eating habits over the past year.

So will we get to see it? Most likely on online streaming provider Netflix sometime in the summer of 2016, or so my Netflix guru Jo Hashimoto advises.

“In Defense of Food” is a fascinating read and the documentary’s trailer shows Pollan traveling to Tanzania, Peru and France, among other places, in pursuit of answers to the all-important question of what we should eat, not just to keep our bodies healthy but to protect global resources and reduce carbon emissions. To this end, Pollan reiterates his famed mantra in the movie: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” It sounds like a simple enough solution, especially for the Japanese. But people are putting on weight in many parts of the archipelago, and in Tokyo it’s probably easier to find bacon than tofu.

As for plants, who has the time to shop for and prepare greens? That’s exactly the mindset we need to change, and “In Defense of Food” works like a charm.