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One College, One Book 2016/2017: Home

Learn about the College's One College, One Book initiative, including the selected book, information about the author and upcoming events related to the book.

The Book

Book cover for In Defense of Food

About the Book

Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?

Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion--most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

         - Publisher

Free Copies


Read the latest One College, One Book newsletter here!

What is One College, One Book?

Welcome to West's One College, One Book initiative! This project is designed to unite the college community in a common reading experience in order to :

  • Foster a strong sense of community
  • Inspire community conversations
  • Promote reading and encourage scholarship
  • Create cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration
  • Examine issues of social justice through medical, historical, sociological, ethical, racial, psychological, and economic perspectives


We invite members of the West Los Angeles College community to read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. The themes in this book apply to a variety of disciplines and we encourage faculty and staff to incorporate the book and and related campus events into their curriculum.

Several copies of the book are currently on reserve at the Library and an electronic copy is available here. Copies are also available at your local public library and will soon be available for purchase at the campus bookstore.

Questions? Ask us!

Susan Trujillo,, x4406
Nancy Sander,, x4584

For information or training on using reading apprenticeship to teach from this book, contact Nancy.



About the Author

For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation and of four New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s ManualIn Defense of Food: An Eater’s ManifestoThe Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals  and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World . 

Pollan was named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In 2009 he was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders.” A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has received numerous awards. 

In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on food, agriculture, health and the environment.